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Chinese New Year 2023 Gift Guide

InvestChinese Inspired

 

Giving gifts to loved ones is an important part of celebrating the Chinese New Year.

It is a time to come together with family to celebrate the end of the previous year and the start of the new year, with gift-giving being one of the many traditions followed during this time. Senior family members will give gifts to younger members of the family, younger members will give gifts to them in return, and hosts may also be given gifts as a thank you for holding the celebrations.

 

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Red Packets

Red packets, also known as hongbao, are one of the most well-known Chinese New Year gifts. Monetary gifts are placed in red envelopes to be given to family, friends and colleagues, though traditionally they were given from the older generation to the younger generation.

New, clean and crisp banknotes are given to carry blessings, prosperity and good luck for the year ahead. The red envelopes are given and received using both hands, and it is courteous not to open them in the presence of the present-giver.

With the advent of the internet era, sending red packets online has become a modern New Year’s custom during the Spring Festival, especially among friends. Digital red packets are often sent and received on smartphones via online payment platforms.

 

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The Gift of Gold

Gold plays an important part in Chinese New Year when it comes to gifts. The month leading up to the new year is a very busy time for buying gold, as it is believed that the purchase of gold will bring both the person who purchases it and who they gift it to good luck for the year to come.

 

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The Importance of Numbers

The amount of monetary gifts included in the red packets is a very important aspect of the Chinese New Year. Even numbers are lucky, especially numbers including 8, which is a homophone for wealth, and 6, which is a homophone for smooth.

The only even number not considered to be a lucky number is the number 4, as this sounds similar to the word for death. Uneven numbers are considered to be unlucky. All monetary gifts must be in even amounts, the number of gifts given must be even, and even the exchanging of gifts must be done using both hands.

 

Other Popular Gifts

Although gifting money in red envelopes tends to be the most popular gift for the Chinese New Year, there are lots of other items that are favoured to give to loved ones. Alcohol, tea and tobacco are popular gifts to give to hosts of the Chinese New Year celebrations. It is customary to give a host their favourite type of alcohol, tea or tobacco as a thank you for entertaining guests.

Fruit baskets are also considered to be a thoughtful gift, particularly apples and oranges, as these are associated with fortune and safety.

Other popular gifts to give to family members can include a tea set, crockery and electrical goods, especially if they are new homeowners. Younger family members may also be given gifts of sweets and chocolate along with their red packets.

Senior family members are given gifts relating to their health, such as a foot spa massager, a high-quality comb or clothing. It is thought that gifts relating to massages are an effective and gentle way to restore the body.

 

Using Lucky Colours

The use of colours when choosing appropriate gifts is very important during the Chinese New Year period. There is a reason why the envelopes given are red – it’s because this is considered to be a very lucky colour! The colours red, yellow and gold are all very lucky colours, so this is why the decorations used during the Chinese New Year tend to feature these colours prominently.

The colours that are usually avoided are blue, black and white, which are seen as unlucky colours that are associated with death. Choosing the right colours for gifts is essential to ensure that good luck is passed on.

 

 

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