Plum blossom season became an event. In his spare time, he grew plum blossoms and took care of cranes as pets. Plum blossoms — or méihuā, in Mandarin — have been cultivated for over 1,500 years! The plum blossom has graced many a samurai’s family crest, and it’s also the national flower of China. While flower-viewing festivals — or hanami — are typically associated with cherry blossoms, it was plum blossoms that started this Japanese tradition. Most popular feng shui items on Amazon They have an ability to hold against the harsh cold of winter. A particular painting that can sometimes be found in Chinese homes is one with a magpie standing poised on the branch of a plum blossom, representing the phrase Xi Shang Mei Shao (喜上眉梢) which translates as “happiness up to ones’ eyebrows”. Cherry blossoms have long stems; while plum blossoms grow right on the branch. Typically appearing in February, plum blossoms come to life even while covered in frost. Much as the cherry blossom has a unique name in Japanese — sakura — so does the plum blossom: Baika. And that’s fair. This is why it is is considered a very good omen to have the plant or painting in the house during CNY. It was this period where China became, as Hardcore History’s Dan Carlin says, “the Jupiter of east Asia,” for how greatly its culture would influence the region. While they are often put with chrysanthemums in a tall vase for display, chrysanthemums lack the dominating presence of plum blossoms by design. Chinese fashion, inventions, and arts were all the rage in the Nara period. Baika have round petals; while sakura petals are notched. They signify virtue, harmony, wisdom and determination, among various positive connotations. With these virtues, ume trees are considered a ward against evil spirits. In classical movies set in ancient China, viewers are also bound to see these plants flowering to create beautiful backdrops as if specifically choreograph to mimic special effects. A big reason why this is so is that during Chinese New Year, which is the most celebrated festival of Chinese, plum blossoms are pretty much the only plants you can see all over the place. This is another profound wordplay that relates to blessing a couple with long-lasting bliss, love and happiness. Additionally, as spring welcomes the farming season, plum blossoms also symbolize prosperity. They have an ability to hold against the harsh cold of winter. Let me know! This is also an important time, because this is where Chinese culture became ingrained in Japan. The Chinese writing system, Confucian philosophy, and Chinese Buddhism — all of these were new concepts that became foundations of Japanese society. This is often depicted in paintings and artwork. This association of the flowering plant and the 5 blessings is so deeply embedded in Chinese culture that it often takes the form of paintings which are arguably as infamous as the paintings of 8 horses and the 100 birds. As they bloom earlier than other plants, plum blossoms represent the thawing of winter, and the changing of seasons. Plum blossoms have been well loved and celebrated across East Asia, and in Vietnam of Southeast Asia. And don’t forget to subscribe for more cool Sushi Chef Stories! The most famous Japanese flower may be the cherry blossom, but the plum blossom is just as special. As such, they’ve come to be known as the heralds of spring. The contrast of dark brown wood, deep pink flower buds, and white snow makes for a truly breathtaking portrait of nature. Typically appearing in February, plum blossoms come to life even while covered in frost. When hung in bedrooms, they can enhance romance luck for those who’ve had a failed marriage to seek a second one. In the I-Ching book of changes, there is also a divination method called the Mei Hua Yi Shu (梅花易數). During ancient times, the plant gained a reputation as the “flower that welcomes spring” as it flowers magnificently during the transition period from winter to spring. This would also be a good place to place these flowering plants. The upper class would plan parties and events to behold the awakening trees, and it’s hard to blame them. Maybe you’ll book a trip to go see them in person! Still, there are a few ways to tell them apart: Plum trees are also known by the name of their fruit, ume. Ume, like many things in Japan, were actually introduced from China. As such, they’ve come to be known as the heralds of spring. As Chinese New Year (CNY) also marks the beginning of spring, this plant holds particular significance in culture. Even when there are other flowers on display at a person’s home, the overwhelming presence of blooming plum blossoms will dominate any landscape during the festivities. You can find me on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Therefore, pictures and paintings are best framed and hung in common areas like the living room so that everyone can benefit from it’s presence. He cared for them so much that the neighbors started to label them as his wife and sons. Get exclusive feng shui insights that you would not find anywhere else. As February thaws into spring, let’s take a look at the symbolism behind this unique flower! As a “friend of winter,” the plum blossom most vividly represents the value of endurance, as life ultimately overcomes … This is because it only makes up a small segment of the I-Ching. Don’t worry, here’s the most important thing: Ume refers to both the fruit and the entire tree itself, and baika refers to just the plum blossom. This also means that for real live plum blossoms, the best locations to place them is also the east. In ukiyo-e and other media, plum blossoms usually appear alongside uguisu — small, green songbirds who are also harbingers of springtime. And are even known to have their flowers bloom when the plant and it’s branches are seemingly dying. It is even referenced in poetry from time to time. Truthfully, the birds rarely appear at the same time plum blossoms do, so there’s a bit of romanticism in this pairing. And there is also a lovely contrast, with the gentleness of the bird amid the majesty of the old tree. It is no wonder they are highly revered in feng shui and in Chinese culture. When pickled, however, the fruit transforms into umeboshi, a classic ingredient in traditional Japanese cuisine. If there is a flowering plant that instantly triggers an association with oriental culture, it is the plum blossom (梅花). But the practice of it is uncommon among feng shui masters. Otherwise, the Kun trigram in the southwest govern relationships in the house. This elemental energy would help the plant grow in strength. Finally, if you are buying plum blossoms just for the CNY festivities, remember to discard them in a respectful and proper manner. Unfazed by cold, they are associated with good health, strong endurance, and overcoming the adversity of winter. This phrase arouse from a story of well-know religious man who wrote poetry at home. Now, the Tang dynasty is pretty important. By contrast, sakura trees are almost totally ornamental, and their fruit is not suitable for cooking. Then the sector of the house where a timely mountain star resides, and the Yen Nian location according to 8 mansions feng shui are also good places to place plum blossoms. And are even known to have their flowers bloom when the plant and it’s branches are seemingly dying. The plum blossom has been an important symbol in Chinese culture. The 5 petal of it’s flowers is also believed to carry 5 different blessings (五福). Long beloved in Japan, plum blossoms have great history and a medley of cultural values. The really good stuff is in our newsletters. In Japan and east Asia, flowers are not seen as fragile or weak, but powerful and noble. Ume are something between a plum and apricot, a stone fruit that’s super astringent and inedible while raw. This is why they are one of the most popular plants depicted in paintings that hang in the living room. As you can probably tell from the various stories which the plum played a role, this plant truly carries significance, especially in symbolism. Aristocrat and priest alike were enchanted by the beautiful trees, and the Chinese symbolism behind plum blossoms was also embraced. Hopefully you have a better appreciation for it after reading this article. Bountiful crop harvests and good fortune are likewise associated. They originated in southern China, along the Yangtze River, and saw a rise in popularity during the Tang dynasty. Like the peony and magnolia, plum blossoms are also often associated with natural beauties in ancient China. How to Score Bread Dough Like a Baking Professional, A Bite-Sized Look Into Our Gut Microbiome, Small farms grow a large portion of the world’s food, Healthy 3-ingredient meals that actually taste good to balance your post-lockdown binge. While flower-viewing festivals — or hanami— are typically associated with cherry blossoms, it was plum blossoms that started this Japanes… Like other majestic trees, ume are popular choices for bonsai. As feng shui maintains that evil and misfortune blow in from the northeast winds, plum trees are a popular garden tree.