Fruit and Fortune: A Relationship as Old as Time

Fruit and Fortune: A Relationship as Old as Time

In Chinese Feng Shui, the pomegranate brings luck and fertility to the family in who’s home it is displayed.

We humans have linked together plenty of unusual things, but fruit and good fortune are a combination that appears time and time again. Whether it’s the Ancient Chinese culture of lucky mandarins or the rattling reels of a fruit machine, these two seemingly unrelated things do seem to crop up together surprisingly often. Let’s explore the fascinating relationship between fruit and fortune.

Lucky Mandarins

In China in particular, Mandarin oranges have always been considered bringers of good fortune. The fruits are often given as a symbolic way of wishing somebody happiness, but they are particularly present around the Chinese New Year. Once you’ve heard of this symbolism you’re likely to see mandarins cropping up more often than you’d noticed before. Often plastic versions of the fruit are hung in shops or the doorways of public buildings to bring wealth and good fortune to the people who enter. The main reason for the belief that these oranges bring good luck? When spoken in Mandarin, a Chinese language, the word orange sounds incredibly similar to the word for wealth. If you pair that with the rich golden skin of the mandarin orange, then you have the perfect combination for a truly lucky fruit.

Extortionate Strawberries

Fruit and Fortune: A Relationship as Old as Time

The finest strawberry in, if not the world, then certainly Japan will cost you around $500!

Japan has a fascination with fruit, though not in the sense that it brings fortune, but rather you need a great fortune to afford some of it! Of course, if you just want an ordinary piece of fruit then although it is often a little more expensive than in other countries, it certainly won’t break the bank. If you want to give a beautiful gift though or experience some of the finest fruits that the country has to offer, then in the case of this strawberry, you’ll need around $500. That’s right, $500 for a single strawberry. The growing procedures for these spectacular fruits are very labour-intensive and, even when followed correctly, only a handful of these top-quality strawberries will be produced from each crop. Melons are another delicacy in Japan, with each melon plant having just one perfect melon allowed to grow on it. The melons are regularly turned, brushed with a soft glove every day, and watered exactly the right amount to ensure a perfectly spherical shape, a neat pattern on the skin, and above all a superb taste.

The Fruit Machine

Another place where fruit has found itself inextricably linked with fortune is in the world of slot machines. Back at the turn of the 19th century, the earliest slot machines had reels showing pictures of fruit in the hopes that they would be passed by as candy dispensers during saloon inspections. Despite these machines being legal in much of the world nowadays, the fruit emblems persist. Even in online slot games which are known for their kooky characters and varied themes, the traditional fruit machine style is still incredibly popular. Although features around five hundred slots with various themes, more than a third of those feature fruit on the reels!

Fruit and Feng Shui

We mentioned mandarin oranges as symbols of good fortune earlier, but it turns out that in China many fruits bring desirable things to those who possess them. Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice, that has over time morphed to include Western ideas as well. In the case of traditional Feng Shui, fruits are said to have great properties. One of the most fascinating examples of this is the pomegranate. These bright red fruits with their juicy seeds are said to enhance fertility and bring joy to the descendants of one’s family. It is for this reason that pomegranates are often given as gifts to newlywed couples. So strong is the symbolism that many interior design consultants will advise displaying pomegranates in the home, particularly for those couples trying for children.