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Why is Orange used for Chinese New Year? Orange in Mandarin is 桔子 and the colour is 橙色。Some people call it 橙子. Interestingly, the name of the fruit orange is also the name of the colour of fruit. It is the same for Malay. Orange in Malay is ‘oren’ and the colour orange is also ‘oren‘.

In Cantonese, the colour orange is called ‘kam’ (note that k is not pronounced with releasing air out of your throat, see video “the g sound in Mandarin” rel=”nofollow”). This literally means ‘gold’ in Chinese. So Orange is gold and Gold symbolises prosperity. Hence, giving oranges to your Chinese friends or receiving oranges from your Chinese friends who are celebrating Chinese New Year is a good gesture as it symbolises joy, merry and prosperity.

This year the colour Orange is clearly more popular because it is also the year of the Tiger 老虎: orange and black stripes.