Mandarin oranges already in the market

Lukan, one of the staples of Chinese New Year, are already filling up supermarket shelves.

MIRI: Though it is days away from Christmas, Lukan (commonly known as mandarin oranges), one of the staples of Chinese New Year, are already filling up the shelves of supermarkets.

According to a representative of a supermarket here, the product arrived here roughly a week ago.

“This year’s CNY falls in the month of January. To meet the demand, the fruits will have to be harvested around November. During the process, the fruits are still green and have not ripened. Usually the shipping time takes about two weeks to a month, and upon arrival the fruits are still quite sour to one’s preference

“Compared to when the festivity falls in February, the fruit ripens in time, giving the sweet and smooth taste.”

Wanting to be identified only as Tan, he said those preferring sweeter orange can wait for another batch of Lukan from Yong Chun, China, that is expected to arrive mid-January right before the first day of Chinese New Year on Jan 28.

“The fruits will be slightly sweeter and taste better,” he said.

Apart from Lukan, the bigger mandarin orange known as ‘Ponkam, that is imported from Taiwan, is also quite popular among locals.

With its bright orange colour that makes it look like the sun, it is often described as a highly auspicious symbol of abundance and happiness.

Traditionally, a pair of the oranges will be brought along during visits to open houses.

The exchange of oranges is likened to exchanging blessings and good fortune.