China: Tradition of buying plants ahead of Spring Festival gets a boost from rising living standards

Xiao Aiting, a doctor in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, buys a potted kumquat tree and flowers such as rhododendrons, chrysanthemums, narcissi and orchids before Spring Festival every year to create a festive floral corner in her home.

The word for kumquat in Cantonese sounds like the word for luck and Xiao sticks a red envelope on the pot of the tree to wish for abundant luck in the coming year.

She spends 400 yuan to 600 yuan ($63-95) on her floral decorations, depending on the price of flowers each year.

To Lu Shaoqin, 25, who works in an internet company in Guangzhou, shopping for flowers in a nearby flower market has been an important family tradition since her childhood, without which Lunar New Year celebrations would be incomplete.

A kumquat tree and chrysanthemums, which also symbolize luck; Pachira macrocarpa, also known as the money tree; Dracaena sanderiana, or lucky bamboo; and Solanum mammosum, which is called five generations living under the same roof, are the blooms favored by Lu's family.

A mini peach blossom tree, signifying good luck in relations with the opposite sex, is also a must.

Other flowers popular at Lunar New Year in the city are cockscomb, dahlia, gladiolus and lily.

Source: via Flower Expo China

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