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The giving of a pair of Mandarin oranges

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dear cecil,
Is it true that when chinese people visit each other. They always give each other mandarin oranges and they do not ask how are you instead say that hope you had a prosperous year. Thanks.

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Dear Anon,
1. From my personal observations, this is especially true during the 15 days of the Chinese New Year.

2. Here, we should also understand that under Chinese beliefs, one should give a pair or everything must come in twos not one.

2.1 For example, when we give an `Ang Pow' or red packet i.e. money placed in a red paper envelope (during Chinese new year) or on special occasions such as the birthday of an elderly, money must be e.g. $2, $4, $6, $10 etc...

2.2 This is because this is on the belief that 1, 3, 5, 7 etc... signifies "lonelyness".

2.3 In Feng Shui, we can then based on this understanding why at the dining table, we should place 2 chairs, 4 chairs, 6 chairs, 8 chairs etc... And not 1, 3, 5, 7 chairs.

3. It is good to understand some Chinese beliefs as this is often inter-linked to some of the `decisions' made under Feng Shui (if one is practising traditional FS).

4. In Chinese, the two mandarin oranges symbolically represent gold. Due to the colour and the mandarin word  "mandarin oranges" sound like Kim (Hokkien) and Kum (Cantonese) or GOLD.

4.1. Therefore, when one visits another on Chinese New Year, by handing over two mandarin oranges to the Chinese host, you are symbollically presenting the host with a pair of `Gold' offering.

4.2. One important point to note is that this is not usually a one way exchange.

4.3. If you give two mandarin oranges to the host of the house, the host has to in return before you leave the house, present you with two different pairs of mandarin oranges.

5. Not the same one you give her. The reason is that if she returns you the same pair of mandarin oranges, it is like she does not accept your `gift'.

6. I know of a few hosts who do not give back another set of mandarin oranges.. well, there is really no harm here.

6.1. Perhaps, the host is either not aware of this custom or has forgotten to do so.

7. As this is based on Chinese beliefs, it is up to the 
believer to note how important for them to receive back a pair of mandarin oranges.

7.1. If their beliefs is strong, maybe, they can remember not to give two pairs of mandarin oranges the next year they visit this relative or friend. Or resort not to visit them.

Warmest Regards,
Cecil

Quote

On 10/31/99 1:34:23 AM, Anonymous wrote:
dear cecil,
Is it true that when chinese
people visit each other. They
always give each other
mandarin oranges and they do
not ask how are you instead
say that hope you had a
prosperous year. Thanks.
 

 


Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net

Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net

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Related: Although this is specific to the year 2020.

However, within this resource link there are many various Chinese customs and beliefs:

1. When does a Chinese related businesses open during the Chinese New Year which lasts a total of 15 days.

2. If business opening are on even Chinese lunar days of the 1st lunar month. Understand that Chinese burials are the opposite: on odd days upon death.

3. What is Li Chun and what is this suppose to mean? Does all Chinese need to deposit money at a bank on Li Chun? Etc...

 


Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net

Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net

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