As Lunar New Year is approaching this weekend, we have been learning more about the significance of the holiday and how it is celebrated in China.  Our team at Alan Wong's Shanghai has been decorating the restaurant in preparation for the holiday.  Plum blossom is regarded as one of the “Three Friends of Winter” (along with pine and bamboo) and regarded as one of the “Four Gentlemen” (with orchid, chrysanthemum and bamboo).

All Chinese people like plum blossoms, especially the scented yellow one.  It’s called “腊梅La Mei”, which means the plum blossom flowering in December (Lunar’s Calendar).  They have a very special and nice fragrance. These flowers are seen as a symbol of winter and a harbinger of spring.  It is beloved by all Chinese people because they are viewed as blooming most vibrantly amidst the winter snow, exuding an ethereal elegance, while their fragrance subtly pervades the air even in the coldest times of the year. Therefore, the plum blossom came to symbolize perseverance and hope, but also beauty and purity.  In Confucianism, the plum blossom stands for the principle and values of virtue.