The Cultural Significance of Buddha’s Hand And How It Can Be Used
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A Buddha's Hand looks like a lumpy lemon with fingers and has a smell that’s characteristic of citrus fruit. It is believed that Buddhist monks brought the fruit from India to China, where it’s grown in many varieties. ‘Buddha's hand’ is a translation of the names used for the fruit in Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. The close-fingered varieties of this fruit, which resemble hands praying, have been offered at Buddhist temples. It signifies longevity, happiness and good fortune. The Chinese often display it in their homes and temple altars for good luck. In Japan, Buddha's Hand is a popular New Year's gift meant to bring good fortune to the recipient.

Buddha’s Hand is sold as a decoration, and for its medicinal value and flavour-enhancing properties. The insides of the fruit are bitter, but its zest can add an interesting flavour to food. The peel can also be candied. Most varieties of the fruit don’t have any edible pulp.

To use the fruit, start by breaking off a "finger", and grate or peel the lemony exterior. Make sure to use only the brightly coloured part, leaving out the white pith beneath.