Saturday, February 09, 2008

Tapeinochilus ananassae - Wax ginger

During Chinese New Year, red is a good luck colour. So it was that when we were kids, clothes on the first and second day of Chinese New year were inevitably of that colour, the brighter the better. Such a tradition was so deeply engrained in my childhood that even as an adult, I ensure that I have red clothes to wear on the first day of Chinese New Year. Sombre colours, like black, blue, white, grey are definitely out.

Today, my kids would not be caught wearing red because that would be most 'uncool'. I have to work out comprises. I have to bend the rules for them - red is not necessary but black and white without any other colours are not allowed. So when we go visiting, only their mum is dressed like an 'ang pow'.

These wax gingers from the family Costaceae were photographed in the Singapore Botanic Gardens a few years ago. What I really like about them are their colours - the bright red of the bracts embracing the tiny yellow flowers represent the perfect shade of red for Chinese New Year for me. Like the firecrackers, the colour red has the power to drive away evil and energise one's surroundings.

No comments: