Chinese New Year comes with festive, joyful spirit of the new season and the hope for new beginning and new successes. Exchanging Chinese New Years gifts during this occasion is a cherished tradition that embraces love sharing and thoughtfulness for your loved ones. This guide will help you master the art of choosing the right Chinese New Years gifts, ensuring your choices resonate with the meaningfulness and cultural significance of the festival.
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Choosing the Best Chinese New Years Gifts
You can never go wrong with some lucky money put nicely inside a red envelope. Traditionally, red envelopes are often gifted only to children and seniors in the family but now the practice has been shared between families, friends and colleagues. These red packets containing money symbolises good luck and is a way to express goodwill and blessings. It is the gesture that matters, not the actual money inside. It is a time-honoured practice that shows generosity of the giver.
In our day and age with technical advancements, digital red envelopes have become increasingly popular. In China, online platforms such as WeChat Pay and Alipay allows people to send and receive electronic red packets in seconds, no matter how far away they are from each other.
Food Combos and Hampers
It is commonly believed that everyone should start their new year with a full stomach to wish for a year full of abundance. Gifting hampers full of delicious treats are perfect Chinese New Years gifts reflecting the wish for the recipient to have a prosperous upcoming year. Common items in these hampers include wine, snacks, traditional cakes, festive candies and delicacies.
Traditional Chinese clothing such as Qipao or Tang Suit carries symbolic and historical values and can be a unique gift idea. Chinese people often dress in traditional attire on the first day of the new year to take photos and capture the spirit of the celebration, and others sometimes choose to wear it during new year gatherings and dinners to add a touch of cultural flair. This shows that traditional clothing is also a practical gift. However, it’s important to consider the recipient’s personal styles and preferences to ensure the gift is personalised and suit their fashion sense.
Tea plays an important role in Chinese culture and a fine tea set can never disappoint because of how practical and usable it is. Recipients can use tea sets as home decorations, enjoy them in daily tea rituals or when hosting families and guests. They come in a variety of designs, colours, materials and styles, allowing the giver to take the recipient’s taste and preferences into consideration and choose the most suitable ones.
These gifts not only serve as a reflection of cultural values but also bring the sense of festivity to the recipient’s home. Gifting tea sets have a hidden meaning of encouraging the recipient to live slowly, savour the moment and enjoy simple pleasures of life.
Plants are believed to have the ability to bring good luck and wealth to their owners, as long as the household takes care of the plants properly. Lucky Bamboo plant or Still Money plant, as their names can tell, carry the meaning of prosperity and good fortune and can be perfect as elegant and low-maintenance Chinese New Years gifts option.
Feng Shui Items
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that emphasises harmonising energy. Feng Shui items that are the best for home protection and positive energy include compass, wealth bowl, or figurines like the laughing Buddha, crystal lotus or tortoise.
Dragon-Inspired Calendar and Notebook
This year 2024 marks the year of the dragon, the mythical creature that represents good luck, strength, health and power. Dragon-themed calendar and notebook can be a creative and thoughtful Chinese New Years gifts, especially if the recipient loves the Chinese zodiac and cares about astrological cycles.
Smart Home Devices
While traditional gifts hold deep cultural significance, modern Chinese New Years gifts can also be thoughtful and appreciated. Gifting smart home devices can make the recipient’s daily life more convenient and enhance their living space. This could include smart speakers, smart plugs, or other gadgets. These gifts will be perfect for individuals who enjoy technology and staying up to date with the latest innovations.
Virtual Gift Cards or Shopping Vouchers
Gifting virtual gift cards or shopping vouchers gives the recipient the freedom of choice to select items they genuinely desire. They also can be delivered and shared instantly through emails or messaging apps, making them an excellent gift option for recipients who live far away. You also do not need to worry about the recipient’s tastes and preferences, eliminating the chance of offering impractical gifts.
This could be a thoughtful and health-conscious gift option. These devices not only monitor health metrics but also are fashionable accessories.
Bonus Tips: There are specific rules you should follow when choosing your gifts. In terms of colours, black and white are associated with mourning and death in Chinese culture so you should stay away from them and opt for more vibrant colours such as red and gold. Gifts with unlucky meaning, e.g. clock is related to “death” in Chinese culture, should be avoided. And always remember to remove the price tag before gift-giving as a gift with a price tag indirectly says that the giver is expecting a return gift of the equal price.
As you embark on the journey to celebrating Chinese New Year and picking the perfect gifts, do not forget that it is the thought and love you carry that make each offering special. For a more meaningful giving, try to accompany your gift with verbal or written wishes. The attention to details around how you present your gift or how you offer it with both hands also shows your respect and conveys sincerity to the receiver. This new year, we hope you embrace the occasion with love and use this guide of thoughtful gift-giving to bring smiles to your loved ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the popular as Chinese New Years gifts?
There are a wide range of gift options for Chinese New Year depending on the preferences of the recipient and the budget of the gift-giver. Commons ideas include red envelopes, food hampers, traditional clothing, tea sets, tree plants, or virtual gift cards. As this year is the year of the dragon, consider gifts associated with the dragon image such as dragon paper calendar, dragon-themed notebook or bracelets.
What is gifted on Chinese New Year?
A variety of gifts are exchanged during Chinese New Year. Some traditional gift options you can consider are red packets, traditional clothing such as Qipao or Tang Suit, and tea sets. In our age of technology, modern gift ideas can be the preference for many households. Smart home devices to make daily life more convenient, or virtual gift cards to give recipients the joy of choosing anything they want are two examples of non-traditional gift ideas.
What is a good luck gift for Chinese New Year?
When considering a gift for Chinese New Year, anything that symbolises good luck can be a good choice. Red packets are symbols of good luck and blessings, therefore they are often exchanged during new year’s time. Other items that contain the meaning of good luck, fortune and well-wishes are:
Tree plants such as Still Money Tree or Lucky Bamboo plant
Lucky charm jewellery
Feng Shui Items such as compass, wealth bowl or figurines