The Chinese New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate the past year and look forward to the future. Many people around the world have traditions and superstitions that they believe will bring them good luck and prosperity in the new year.
One of these traditions is to eat or display certain fruits that are considered lucky or auspicious.
In this article, we will explore the origins and meanings of 12 fruits that are commonly associated with New Year’s Eve, especially in Asian cultures.
We will also give you some tips on how to enjoy these fruits and make them part of your festive decor. Whether you believe in luck or not, these fruits are sure to add some sweetness and color to your New Year’s Eve celebration.
1. Kumquat Fruits – For a Year Without Illness
Kumquats are small, oval-shaped citrus fruits native to China and are commonly associated with good luck and prosperity. They are typically eaten fresh, as the skin is edible and has a sweet flavor, and are often used in recipes for jams, jellies, and other preserves.
They are rich in vitamins A and C and have plenty of health benefits. Also, having these fruits on the New Year’s table is a good omen, as they are believed to bring luck and good health.
2. Oranges and Tangerines – Bring Luck and Happiness
Tangerines are considered a lucky fruit to eat on new years eve because they have a special meaning in Chinese culture. The Chinese word for tangerine, kam, sounds like the word for luck.
The shape of the tangerine is also round and golden, which symbolizes wealth and abundance. Oranges, which are similar to tangerines, have the same associations. The Chinese word for orange, cheng, sounds like the word for success. That’s why people exchange tangerines and oranges as gifts or display them as decorations during the Lunar New Year celebration.
3. Pomegranates – Represent Longevity and Prosperity
On the other hand, pomegranates are valued for their numerous seeds, which speak about fertility, but also due to their red color, which wards off evil spirits. Pomegranates are considered auspicious in Chinese culture because the Chinese word for pomegranate sounds similar to the word for many children, which is associated with good fortune and abundance.
4. Cantaloup – Symbolizes Family Reunion
Cantaloupes or yellow melons symbolize family and the fact that it will remain united over the coming year.
5. Apples – Attract Peace and Safety
The apples offered as gifts to family and friends during Chinese New Year attract well-being. In addition, those who eat apples on this fateful night will have a quiet life full of peace and harmony. In Western culture, apples are often associated with knowledge and wisdom, as in the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
6. Pineapple – For Better Health
The word “Pineapple” or “Ong lai” means there will be a high chance of winning in the coming year.
On Chinese New Year, people can add pineapple to a whole bunch of foods, and a whole pineapple sitting on the table guarantees a good year in all areas of life.
7. Grapes – For a Prosperous Year
The tradition entails that you should eat 12 grape beans at midnight. In a habit that dates back to the 1880s, it is presumed that if you manage to eat the 12 grape beans (one for each month of the year) before the clock hits 12:01, you will have luck in the New Year.
In some parts, people hang bunches of grapes on doors and windows.
In Western culture, grapes are often associated with abundance and fertility, as they symbolize the bounty of the earth.
8. Mango – The Fruit of Happiness
The mango fruit is considered a bringer of luck in the religions of Southeast Asia and we find rituals related to Buddhism as well as Hinduism. It is a fruit that cannot be missing from the Lunar New Year’s table. In Hindu culture, mangoes are considered to be a sacred fruit and are often associated with love and happiness.
Papaya is a tropical fruit that grows on a small tree with a palm-like trunk and large lobed leaves. The fruit is usually spherical or cylindrical, with yellow or orange flesh and black seeds inside. Papaya has a sweet and musky flavor that makes it a popular breakfast fruit, as well as an ingredient in salads, pies, juices, and other dishes. Papaya is also known for its health benefits, as it contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes that can help prevent and treat various diseases.
One of the reasons why papaya is considered lucky is because of its name. In many languages, the word for papaya sounds similar to the word for “papa” or “father”. For example, in Thai, papaya is called “malakor”, which sounds like “malakorn”, meaning “father’s horn”. In Vietnamese, papaya is called “du du”, which sounds like “daddy”. In Chinese, papaya is called “muh gua”, which sounds like “mother melon”. These names suggest that papaya is a symbol of parental love and protection.
Another reason why papaya is considered lucky is because of its shape and color. The round or oval shape of papaya resembles a gold ingot or a money bag, which are symbols of wealth and abundance. The yellow or orange color of papaya also represents gold or prosperity. According to Feng Shui, eating papaya can attract money and success in their lives.
Watermelon is not only a delicious and refreshing fruit, but it also has some symbolic meanings that can attract good luck, prosperity and abundance in the coming year.
Watermelon has many seeds that represent prosperity and abundance. Based on Feng Shui, seeds are a sign of potential growth and wealth. Eating watermelon on New Year’s Eve can help you manifest your goals and desires in the new year.
Also, Watermelon has a bright red color that symbolizes happiness and good fortune. Red is a lucky color in many cultures, especially in China and other Asian countries. Red is also associated with fire, which can ward off evil spirits and negative energies. Eating watermelon on New Year’s Eve can help you attract positive vibes and joy in the new year.
The avocado is often regarded as a lucky fruit to eat on New Year’s Eve, as it is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. In some cultures, even the seed is cooked and used in some dishes. You can try some amazing avocado recipes for the New Year and also eat it as a good luck charm.
The unique green and purple color of this fruit symbolizes prosperity. It is also a nutritious snack when you are hungry. Avocado is also associated with health because it is full of vitamins, nutrients and minerals. It is a superfood that can help you start the New Year with energy and vitality.
Lemon is a citrus fruit that has cleansing properties and can eliminate negative energies from one’s home and body. It is also symbolic of purification, fresh starts, and optimism going into the new year.
Some people use the fresh or dried rind and/or large green leaves of lemon to bathe in a cleansing ritual performed on Chinese New Year’s Eve to banish evil spirits that might be lurking about. Lemon also signifies longevity, friendship and love. The bright yellow color of this fruit can add a pop of color to any room, making it a great lucky fruit to display around your household
To sum up, these 12 fruits are not only delicious and nutritious, but they also have symbolic meanings that can bring you good luck in the new year. Whether you want to attract wealth, health, love, or happiness, there is a fruit for you. Try to include them in your New Year’s Eve dinner or your first breakfast of 2024. You might be surprised by the positive changes they can bring to your life. Remember, the magic is not in the fruits themselves, but in your attitude and gratitude. Happy New Year!
Steven Chen is a professional tarot card reader, astrologer & feng shui master, the author of 2 books that are published in several languages. He also posts articles about astrology and feng shui on Facebook and Medium.