Discovering the Beauty and Virtues of Chinese Flower Goddesses: January - March
January Flower Plum Blossom
The plum blossom, also known as the flower of January, holds a significant place in Chinese culture. It symbolizes strength, nobility, and modesty, making it one of the most revered flowers in Chinese art and literature.
The beauty of the plum blossom lies in the fact that it blooms in the harshest of winter conditions. Its resilience and perseverance have made it a symbol of courage and strength. The flower is also known as the flower of Five Blessings, as its five petals represent happiness, wealth, longevity, peace, and success.
The use of plum blossoms in Chinese culture dates back more than 3,200 years. Initially, it was used for flavoring food and as a sacrificial offering. Later, it became an essential ingredient in cosmetics, herbal medicine, and as an ornamental flower.
During the Tang and Song dynasties, the beauty and virtues of the plum blossom gained the admiration of scholars and artists. They developed a whole ornamental theory around the flower, appreciating its place, time, shape, and activities.
Plum blossom, together with orchid, bamboo, and chrysanthemum, formed the “Four Gentlemen” or “Four Noble Ones” in Chinese art, with each flower representing different virtues and highly valued characteristics.
Today, the plum blossom continues to be highly revered in Chinese culture, with its beauty and significance reflected in poems and artwork. It is a popular decorative pattern in Chinese people's daily lives, serving as a reminder of the flower's virtues and resilience in the face of adversity.
February Flower Apricot Blossom
The apricot blossom, also known as the flower of February, holds a significant place in Chinese culture. In Chinese, the word for apricot blossom sounds similar to the word for "lucky," making it a symbol of good fortune and blessings.
The blooming of the apricot blossom signifies the arrival of spring, bringing with it a sense of hope and renewal. This delicate flower has been a part of Chinese culture for over 3000 years and has been used in a variety of ways, from being used as food to being used in sacrificial offerings, herbal medicine, and cosmetics.
The apricot blossom is a thing of beauty, with its light red or pink petals tinged in pure white, symbolizing purity, artsy, and beauty. This flower has captured the imagination of Chinese artists and poets for centuries, who have used it as a source of inspiration for their work.
In Chinese art, the apricot blossom is often depicted alongside other symbols of good fortune, such as the phoenix and dragon, signifying prosperity and success. The flower has also been incorporated into decorative patterns, adding a touch of elegance and grace to Chinese textiles and pottery.
Today, the apricot blossom continues to be highly regarded in Chinese culture, serving as a symbol of luck and fortune. It is a reminder of the beauty and fragility of life, and the hope and renewal that comes with the arrival of spring.
March Flower Peach Blossom
The Peach Blossom, also known as the Flower of March, is a beloved symbol in both mystical and secular worlds of Chinese culture. In ancient mythology, the goddess Xiwangmu was said to have peach tree forests around her palace on Mount Kunlun. Legend has it that when King Mu of Zhou and Emperor Wu of Han visited her, she awarded them peaches from these magic trees, which were said to grant immortality.
In Chinese culture, the peach tree is associated with longevity, as the fruit is believed to have health-giving properties. As such, the peach blossom has also become a symbol of long life, good health, and vitality.
Aside from its association with immortality and longevity, the peach blossom has also been associated with love and romance since the Zhou Dynasty. Peach trees are productive, and peach blossoms are stunningly beautiful, making them a fitting symbol for the joy and beauty of love.
In Chinese art and literature, the peach blossom is often used to represent romantic love and married bliss. It is frequently used as a decorative pattern in traditional Chinese paintings and textiles, adding a touch of elegance and grace to any piece.
Today, the peach blossom remains a cherished symbol in Chinese culture, representing longevity, love, and romance. Its beauty and vitality continue to inspire artists and poets, serving as a reminder of the joys and pleasures of life.