Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History

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Lucky Flowers of 12 Months in Chinese Calendar

In Traditional Chinese Calendar, each month has a Flower Goddess, each of which represents some specific meanings in Chinese culture.
 

January in Chinese Calendar -- Plum Blossom 

Flower of Strong, Noble and Modest

In Chinese Calendar, Plum Blossom is the Flower of January. Its five petals represents Happiness, Joy, Longevity, Peace and Successful. 

Documented more than 3200 years ago, firstly the Plum Blossom was used as flavoring and food, also for worshiping ceremonies in the history of China.

 

Then about 1000 years later, it started to serve as ornamental and medication, when more types of Plum Blossoms were cultivated. 

 

Because it flourishes in cold winter, Plum is the representative of strong and noble in Chinese culture.

 

Many artists and poets were huge fans of Plum Blossoms, for its beautiful appearance, fragrance and spirit.

 

Plum Blossom was not only frequently described and admired in many literature and art works, it also has a whole ornamental theory which includes appreciating place, time, shape and activities, etc. 

 

February in Chinese Calendar -- Apricot Blossom 

Flower of Hope, Lucky and Beautiful

Seeing the Apricot Blossom means the spring is coming.

 

Apricot Blossom, the Flower of February in Chinese Calendar, has been documented for over 3000 years in China.

 

It was used as food, sacrifice flower, medication cosmetology and ornament in Chinese culture. 

The Apricot Blossom is also the representative of pure, shy and beautiful girls, because of its pure color and beautiful appearance.

 

The pronunciation of Apricot is the same with "Lucky" in Chinese language, so it is also the flower of fortune. 

 

March in Chinese Calendar -- Peach Blossom

Flower of Love and Fortune

Peach Blossom, the Flower of March in Chinese Calendar, has over 6000 years history in China, and was used for food, worship, medication, cosmetology and ornament.

 

Because of its prolifically and gorgeousness, Peach Blossom is an important sign of sweet love in Chinese culture.

 

Its fruit, which was widely used in worshiping ceremonies, was believed as the food of some deities in Chinese mythology.

 

Therefore, peach blossom is also the representative of fortunate and longevity. 

 

April in Chinese Calendar -- Rose

Flower of Brightness, Affection and Sweetness

Rose, the Flower of April in Chinese Calendar, was documented about 2500-3000 years ago, used as ornament, herbal tea and cosmetology in Chinese culture.

 

Emperor Liu Che of the Han Dynasty used to keep many roses in his royal palace, who compared one of his beautiful concubines as a beautiful rose.

 

Since then, rose became the blossom of happiness and sweet love.

 

In the history of China, rose was widely described in many poems, for their gorgeousness, pleasant fragrance, and being a symbol of genuine love. 

 

May in Chinese Calendar -- Pomegranate Flower 

Flower of Happy Marriage and Wealthy

Pomegranate, the Flower of May in Chinese Calendar, was introduced to China about 2200 years ago and was used as food, ornamental, cosmetology and medication. 

Pomegranate flower looks like red skirt, which makes them a symbol of mature, passionate and beautiful in Chinese culture.

 

It cannot be transplanted, and its fruit have many seeds; therefore, Pomegranate was always used in Traditional Chinese Wedding ceremonies, as the representative of staying productive, loyal, flourishing and wealthy. 

 

June in Chinese Calendar -- Lotus Flower

Incarnation of Fairy and the Flower of Elegant and Harmony

Found about 7000 years ago and documented 3000 years ago, Lotus, the Flower of June in Chinese Calendar, was widely used as food, ornamental and medicinal. 

 

Though comes from silt, Lotus flower stays pure and elegant, which made them frequently admired as representative of grace, holy and noble in Chinese culture.

 

Its pronunciation is similar with "Harmony" in Chinese language; therefore, Lotus is also the sign of peace and calm. 

 

There was a legend saying that Lotus was originally a fairy, who was expelled from heaven because of pursuing love with a human. So Lotus flower is sometimes a signal of love as well. 

The lotus is also the flower of Taoism and Buddhism. The Lotus Crown was once a popular hair ornament in the Tang Dynasty in the history of China. 

 

July in Chinese Calendar -- Balsamine

Incarnation of Phenix and the Flower of Energy

Balsamine, the Flower of July in Chinese Calendar, is believed as the incarnation of Phenix, one of the most beautiful and powerful mythical animals in Chinese Mythology

 

Therefore, it is the representative of attractiveness and energy. 

Throughout the history of China, Balsamine was widely used in medication and cosmetology, especially for painting fingernails.

 

This colorful and natural cosmetic have been favored by Chinese women for thousands of years. 

 

August in Chinese Calendar -- Osmanthus Blossom

Flower of Moon and Champion

Cultivated in China for more than 2500 years, sweet scented Osmanthus, the Flower of August in Chinese Calendar, was the plant on the moon, and the flower of the Champion. 

 

In Chinese mythology, there was a huge Osmanthus tree on the moon, together with Fairy Chang E and her bunny.

 

In addtion, the pronunciation of Osmanthus is the same with "Richness" in Chinese language. 

 

Hence, it is the representative of noble, blessing and wealthy.

 

In the history, Chinese Imperial Examination was always held in the month when Osmanthus was blooming; therefore, Osmanthus is also the sign of success, loyal and honorable.

 

People who won the first place in the examination were referred as "Snapped a Osmanthus' Twig". 

Meanwhile, the Mid Autumn Festival, one of the most important Chinese holidays, is on the 15th of August. On this holiday, worshiping the moon, eating mooncake, and drinking Osmanthus wine are popular activities among Chinese people.

 

September in Chinese Calendar -- Chrysanthemum

Flower of Long Live, Decency and Pround

Chrysanthemum was documented in China over 3000 years ago, and was widely used in food, tea, wine, ornamental and medicinal. 

 

It blooms around the Double Ninth Festival, a holiday to climb mountains and respect the elders. Additionally, nine is the strongest number in ancient Chinese culture. 

 

Therefore, Chrysanthemum is the representative of longevity. 

 

A very proud and talented historical figure, Tao Yuanming, from over 1500 years ago was a big fan of Chrysanthemum, who had written many famous poems admiring it.

 

Since then, Chrysanthemum became the sign of prosperity, integrity and firm, based on the poet's description. 

 

October in Chinese Calendar -- Hibiscus

Flower of Virtue and Gorgeousness

Because of the bright color and appearance, Hibiscus is frequently mentioned in ancient Chinese poets, as a representative of gorgeous women or people with outstanding moral. 

Hibiscus' Chinese pronunciation is similar to the "Husband", so Hibiscus also implies women's deep longing for their beloved ones. 

Hibiscus was widely used in food, ornamental and medication throughout the history of China. 

 

November in Chinese Calendar -- Narcissus

Flower of Pure and Blessing

Narcissus, the Flower of November in Chinese Calendar, was introduced to China about 1000 years ago. 

 

Afterwards, it was cultivated and served as ornamental, cosmetology, medication, and be carved into beautiful potted landscapes.  

Narcissus was named as a fairy in the water, which has many versions of legends in regard to its incarnation.

 

Gorgeous flowers from the clean water and the fairy related stories, together, made Narcissus the representative of pure and blessing in Chinese culture. 

 

December in Chinese Calendar -- Winter Sweet 

Flower of Fearless, Persistent and Unbending

Winter Sweet, the Flower of December in Chinese Calendar, is not afraid of cold, snow and drought.

 

In Chinese culture, therefore, it was generally admired and complimented for this fearless spirit. 

 

It has been used as ornamental, medication, and in the worshiping ceremony for thousands of years.

 

Winter Sweet was a famous Chinese Empress' favorite flower and had been widely used as her daily accessaries, who made it a popular decorative ornament once. ​​