The only orange in a season full of red!

By Nadia Syafiq

Yup, everyone’s favourite for CNY: The Mandarin Orange!

It’s that time of the year where you see the colour red almost everywhere with only one exception: Mandarin oranges. Like all Asian cultures, Chinese New Year is full of symbolism. Every celebratory dish or treat exists for a reason. Even the abundance of oranges popping up just about everywhere from homes to supermarkets.

So why mandarins?

It’s because it symbolises wealth and good fortune, which is why every Chinese New Year, we see the passing of this fruit between hands to symbolise the gift of wealth. “Kam”, the Cantonese word for mandarin oranges, sounds similar to the word for “gold”. Hence having these fruits around your home during the festive season and giving them out in pairs is said to bring wealth and prosperity. At the same time, the oranges look like the sun and this is aligned with the yang (positive) principle, thus being a highly auspicious symbol of abundance and happiness.

It is also tradition to place mandarin oranges along with a red envelope next to a child’s pillow during the festival. This is said to bring them good fortune. Mandarins are also placed in the family's rice container to bring good blessings to the family.

Like all other festive celebration, spending quality time with your loved ones is what everyone looks forward to. Although this year’s celebrations might not be as exciting as the years before COVID-19, we can still enjoy each other’s company and make it special for those living far away from their families. How? Send them some mandarins and wish them happiness!

Gong Xi Fa Chai! Wishing you a prosperous Chinese New Year from #teamGRADUAN.

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