Mandarin Oranges for Chinese New Year

Mandarin Oranges for Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals for the Chinese community. No matter which country it is, there is always a Chinatown and it is the most happening place in town during this festive season. A large part of the Lunar New Year is Mandarin oranges.

Growing up in a traditional Chinese family, there are many customs and tradition to follow and Chinese New Year is no exception. This includes no sweeping and doing laundry during the first day of Chinese New Year to avoid sweeping away the luck, the elderly giving out red packets and giving mandarin oranges during visitations as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.

Mandarin oranges play a huge role in the Chinese New Year. Besides snacks and cookies, it is essential to have mandarin oranges during the celebration.

The Traditions Of Mandarin Oranges

In typical Asian culture, almost everything has a special meaning or tradition. In Chinese New Year, mandarin oranges are crucial because the Chinese word for it is ‘Kam’ which means gold. As a symbol of prosperity and good luck, mandarin oranges are essential in every Chinese household.

Therefore, giving out mandarin oranges to people during visitations is like giving out riches to them. Of course, it is important in the Chinese family to keep some of the mandarin oranges at home too.

The Types Of Mandarin Oranges

Since mandarin oranges is so important in the Chinese community during this festive season, let us take a look of different types of mandarin oranges to give out!


This is the most typical mandarin orange that we usually give out during Chinese New Year. It is slightly plump, which means a better and fatter fortune for Chinese, Therefore, Ponkan is the most given out mandarin oranges in the Chinese community.


This mandarin orange is a bit wrinkly. It has slightly rougher and looser skin. The good quality of Lukan is sweeter, and it gives out nice fragrance as well.


The Swatow mandarin orange is slightly harder to peel compared to Ponkan and Lukan. However, it has a longer shelf life, thus some people with bigger family might consider buying this. It can be stored up to two to three weeks in room temperature.


This mandarin orange originated from Pakistan. It is really sweet and fragrant. Furthermore, it has shiny and smooth skin as well. However, the downside of this mandarin orange is that it has a lot of seeds.


This is the perfect mandarin orange to give out to the elderly and children as it is seedless. Mikan has a hint of floral scent thus it is perfect for gifting during Chinese New Year. This type of mandarin orange is very refreshing and it has a light acidity level as well.


This type of European mandarin orange is seedless. However, it can be slightly expensive and harder to find. Nevertheless, clementines are very juicy and refreshing, and it is easy to peel as well.


This is another typical mandarin orange that we would use for gifting during Chinese New Year. There are plenty of tangerines sold in the supermarkets as well. Tangerine usually comes with the leaf and has a slightly rougher but glossy skin. It is rather sweet and juicy. In fact, the best part is that it comes with less or no seeds at all!


This mandarin orange is widely and commonly found in Japan. This perfect mandarin orange is actually a hybrid of Ponkan and Kiyomi. This is by far the most delicious mandarin orange of all as it is really fragrant and sweet. Plus, it is seedless as well. However, it can be quite costly.


This American type of mandarin orange is quite rare to find in Malaysia. Thus, it is not so common to gift during this festive occasion. Mandelo is quite sweet and juicy, and it has a lot of seeds. The taste of Mandelo is a mixture of pomelo and grapefruit. Therefore it has a slight lingering hint of bitterness.

Honey Murcott

This Australian-based mandarin orange is not easy to find here in Malaysia. This type of mandarin orange is slightly plump and quite hard to peel. Even so, it has little seeds so it can be easy to consume. It is rather sweet but not overly sweet, some might say it has a taste of honey, hence the name Honey Murcott.

Perfect Gift For Chinese New Year

After the recommendation and types of mandarin oranges, here are a few mandarin orange suggestions to gift to your friends and family during this festive season. The most common types of mandarin oranges are Ponkan, Lukan, Dekopon, Tangerine and Swatow.

Due to the sweetness and fragrant scent, these mandarin oranges are very suitable to give out during Chinese New Year. Remember to give out in pairs! Order some food and drinks for your family occasion using foodpanda today. 

Lastly, we would like to wish all of you a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!

Article Written By Evans

Evans Hu is a foody at heart. He is always on the look out to explore best places to dine in Klang Valley. When he’s free, he often goes on a “culinary trip” out of Klang Valley with his friends and family.

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