japanese quince - Illustrated by Helen KrayenhoffTuesday, February 1 is the first day of the Chinese New Year. The Lunar New Year celebration lasts 15 days and ends on the first full moon after the Spring Festival.  This is the year of the Dragon.  Dragons were born in the years 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1986, 2000, 2012 and 2024 and are known as charismatic, intelligent, confident, powerful, and naturally lucky and gifted. In everything that they do, they tend to do it to the best of their ability with high standards.

During Chinese New Year it is traditional to give children and young adults that are not married, a red envelope with money inside. The red envelopes are wishes for another safe and peaceful year. If you are giving a gift to an adult, Berkeley Hort can help you with that. Some plants that are special for the Chinese New Year, are Red Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles), Osmanthus fragrans, Orange (Citrus) and Camellia varieties. The color red signifies happiness, passion and good luck, so any plant with red flowers would make a perfect gift. Finally, any long-lasting flowers such as orchids are a great choice.