Copy link succeeded! Now can share to friends.

Chinese Literature: The Mystery of Plum Blossoms and Snow 

Winter is the bane of living things. It turns the lively world into a cold, silent one. The once colorful world is now a place of white and gray. But you know what? Snow and plum blossoms are connected in traditional Chinese culture.

Winter halts everything. Everything. Rivers stop flowing. It succumbs to the merciless cold that freezes its every being. Plants stop growing. The cold cuts down its roots, making it impossible for the plant to gather nourishment. The land stops giving life. Instead, it becomes a humongous chunk of solidified horizontal wall, fighting the cold, only to no avail. Trees stop giving life. Its branches, once a haven for leaves, are now a sitting pot for ice and snow. Winter halts everything, except for one: Plum Blossoms.

Chinese Plum Blossoms
Chinese Plum Blossoms

1. Why This Topic

Plum blossom is the traditional flower of China. It blooms during the harsh winters and continues to radiate its beauty until spring. Since ancient times, plum blossoms have drawn people. Not only because of its beauty but also because of its nature. 

See, while winter stops everything, it can’t stop plum blossoms from blooming. It is the perfect metaphor for hope, the epitome of resilience and strength. It shows that despite all odds, it will continue to blossom. No amount of cold can stop it from showing its elegance and beauty to the world. 

Consequently, poets from archaic times composed poems to commemorate this tree. They understand the significance of its nature. They see how impactful it will be if we apply its disposition in our lives. 

2. Poem for Plum Blossoms and Snow

That’s what we will examine today. A poem for the Plum Blossoms. To do that, let’s ride the memory lane. 

The poem Snow and Plum Blossom 《雪梅》(XuěMéi) is a timeless classic. Its author, by Lu Meipo 卢梅坡 (Lú Méipō), is a prominent poet and writer in the Song Dynasty. In this poem, he delved into the monochromatic world of winter and how plum blossoms put vibrance and color during the soulless season. 

The poem is as follows:

Xuě Méi


Snow and Plum Blossom

Yǒu méi wú xuě bù jīng shén, yóu xuě wú méi sú le rén.


Only plum blossoms have no snowflakes, and there seems to be no spiritual meaning. If it snows, but there is no poetry and prose, it will be very tacky.

Rì mù shī chéng tiān yòu xuě ,  yǔ méi bìng zuò shí fēn xiāng.


When the sun sets, the poem is written, and it just snows again.

Look at the plum blossoms and snowflakes competing to bloom, which are as colorful and vibrant as spring.

He also looked into the relationship between snow and plum blossoms. He noted how they seem to compete with each other.

He once iterated:

Méi xū xùn xuě sān fēn bái , xuě què shū méi yí duàn xiāng.


Plum blossoms have three points of white snow, but the snow loses one point of plum blossom fragrance.

3. Knowledge points

Now that we know the poem and what it generally means, let us now delve into the knowledge point of this topic.

①梅花 (méi huā): the second tone and the first tone, = plum blossom

②雪 (xuě): the third tone, = snow


Méi huā hé xuě shì tiān zuò zhī hé.

梅花 和 雪 是 天作之合。

Plum blossoms and snow are a perfect match.


According to the passage, the poem Snow and Plum Blossom illustrates the relationship between which three things?


Book your free try now !

Your first 1-on-1 Chinese lesson offer

customer service

Contact Us