The Symbolism of Pears: Exploring Why They Make Meaningful Gifts

The Symbolism of Pears: Exploring Why They Make Meaningful Gifts

At Frog Hollow Farm, we love a good pear and, in fact, consider it our signature fruit. Perhaps you've taken a bite out of our famous Warren pear - a silky, juicy fruit with fragrant, perfumed notes minus the grainy texture of the Bartlett. Or, you've been captivated by our crisp Asian pears - ranging in appearance from smooth and yellow like an apple to golden-tan and textured. We encourage you to explore the flavor subtleties among our Hosui, Shinko and Shinsekei varieties.Yet, beyond taste and our regenerative approach to farming, pears aren't just a fruit: Rather, societies and cultures over several centuries have associated them with longevity, comfort, wealth and prosperity. In turn, think about what your pear gift basket communicates:

Long Life

This symbol goes back to ancient China - specifically, that pear trees embody immortality. Today, this belief translates to many leaving pears as gifts for departed loved ones.

Additionally, the pear's association with a long, potentially immortal life stems from the tree's lifespan and how long the fruits could last before refrigeration. Pear trees themselves offer at least 50 years of growth, while the fruits can remain fresh for months in the right storage conditions. This latter factor meant crews headed to sea brought pears along for nourishment.

Comfort, Health and Harmony

Cultures across the world associate pears with comfort or see them as a symbol of happiness and inner peace:

  • In Korean culture, pears are a sign of fertility, good health, wisdom and familiarity.
  • In Chinese culture, similar wording for "pear" and "separation" results in the fruit symbolizing closeness and positive, healthy relationships among friends and partners.
  • In Spain, phrase "star mas sano queue pera" uses the pear as a metaphor for good health.
  • In Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, the pear tree is used as a metaphor for reaching an inner state of calm.
  • Related to these factors, Japanese homes regularly include a pear tree in their yards to shield inhabitants from malevolent, devious spirits.

Wealth and Prosperity

Perhaps as a confluence of the above two factors, pears have represented wealth for multiple cultures and civilizations:

  • In addition to longevity and immortality, pears doubled as an ancient Chinese symbol of wealth and success.
  • Similarly, both Greek and Roman civilizations offered pears to goddesses associated with wealth or femininity, including Pomona, Hera/Juno and Aphrodite/Venus.
  • In European civilizations during the 18th century, pears were thought to require specific growing conditions - for example, inside a wall or enclosed space - and therefore, both monasteries and castles grew these trees and harvested their fruits. For properties without these features, trade routes carried pears from the Mediterranean area or England to European nobility.
  • In addition to these symbols, works of art and literature - Homer's The Odyssey and painting Madonna and Child, for example - juxtapose pears with prominent religious figures, hinting at their godly status.


The next time you order pears for delivery, think about the message they send - whether that's wishing someone a long and prosperous life or presenting a fruit associated with a sense of calmness and peace. For the best mail order pears, browse Frog Hollow Farm's fruit boxes and gift baskets now.

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