Lunar New Year Gift-Giving Etiquette

Etiquette is very important in China. The Spring Celebration, the most important festival in China, has specific rules regarding Lunar New Year gift-giving. What then are the forbidden Chinese New Year presents? When selecting Chinese New Year gifts, avoid the following mistakes. The main holiday for Chinese people and many other individuals of Asian ancestry is Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year. It is a time when people exchange gifts to show respect and love. Do you need suggestions for Chinese New Year presents?</span

Yeobuild shares with you the correct Lunar New Year gift-giving etiquette; catch the best presents for friends, customers, workers, coworkers, and families for the Chinese New Year are compiled here.

The DO’s of Lunar New Year Gift-Giving

The DO’s of Lunar New Year Gift-Giving

  1. The gifts ought to be the appropriate colors. White and black are forbidden hues, while red and gold are viewed as lucky hues.
  2. Don’t give someone a present that has a bad connotation, like a clock that symbolizes “death.”
  3. Bring two gifts since, in Chinese culture, everything nice should come in pairs.
  4. Don’t forget to take off the price tag. A present with a price tag gives the recipient the impression that it is expensive and that the sender is anticipating receiving a similar-priced gift in return.

The DON’Ts of
Lunar New Year Gift-Giving

The DON’Ts of Lunar New Year Gift-Giving

Necklaces, Ties, and Belts Might Be Too Intimate

Don’t offer a platonic friend a necklace as a present. Chinese people believe that accessories like belts, ties, and necklaces are connected to close relationships. Frequently, boyfriends, girlfriends, or couples will offer these things.

Wallets Stand for Financial Loss

Giving a wallet as a gift is considered unlucky and represents giving away all of your money in traditional Chinese culture. Giving a wallet to your spouse or another family member who already has access to your financial accounts and money is not a problem, though.

Clocks or Watches Are Sign of Bad Luck

Saying ‘giving a clock’ (送钟 sòng zhōng /song jong/) in Chinese sounds exactly like the Chinese words for ‘attending a funeral ritual’ (送终 sòng zhōng). This is why it is considered to be bad luck to offer someone a clock or a watch.

Candles with Scents Are Used to Honor the Deceased

Candles with Scents Are Used to Honor the Deceased

In China, candles are frequently used in conjunction with offerings for the dead. Therefore, whether they are flameless candles, scented candles, or regular candles, they cannot be given as gifts.

Pears Are Known as Parting Signs

A bad present for the Chinese New Year is a pear. Fruit gifts are a good thing, but pears are absolutely off-limits. The Chinese word for ‘pears’ (梨 lí /lee/) sounds the same as the word for leaving or ‘parting’ (离 lí) and it is considered bad luck.

Hats Have a Bad Reputation

When an elderly person passes away in China, their children don a hat in sorrow, known as a “xiào mào”. So, it’s forbidden to give a hat as a gift during the Chinese New Year. On the eve of the Chinese New Year, residents of Handan (a city in Hebei Province) fling old hats into the air in the hopes of chasing away sorrow and sorrows. Particularly green hats are to be avoided. The Chinese proverb “to wear a green hat” (dài l màozi) refers to a wife or girlfriend who has been unfaithful. If a man receives a green hat as a gift, it is the biggest insult.

Black and White Objects are For Funerals

Avoid sending gifts that are predominantly black or predominantly white, as well as wrapping paper or envelopes in these hues, as these are typical funeral colors. Red, however, is always an excellent choice for envelopes or gifts because it is thought to be a joyful and auspicious color.

Shoes Could Be a Bad Sign

Chinese New Year presents shouldn’t include shoes since the word for “shoes” ( xié) sounds exactly like the word for “evil” or “bad luck” ( xié). Additionally, since shoes are objects that you stomp on, they are perceived negatively as gifts. Always avoid wearing shoes.

Handkerchiefs Are Signs of Everlasting Parting

Handkerchiefs Are Signs of Everlasting Parting

Handkerchiefs are typically given as a sign of final farewell at the conclusion of a funeral. Giving someone a gift like this implies that you are cutting all ties with them and saying goodbye permanently.

Anything with a “4” Sounds Deathly

The Chinese character for four has a similar pronunciation to the character for death. Consequently, anything bearing the number 4 is seen as unlucky. Give no gifts in multiples of four or any other number that begins with the digit four, such as 14, 24, 34, 40, or 44. In some buildings and hotels, for instance, there is no floor four or room numbers that contain four. See Lucky Numbers and Colors in Chinese Culture for further information on fortunate and unlucky numbers.

Sharp Things Are Meant to Break Off Relationships

Giving something pointy, like a knife or pair of scissors, is bad luck because it is believed to break the bond. One slash and it’s in two parts is a traditional Chinese proverb that denotes the end of a romantic relationship.

It’s Supposed That Mirrors Attract Ghosts

In most of Asia, mirrors are not recommended as gifts since they are thought to draw evil spirits. Additionally, they are prone to breaking, which is bad luck.

Cut Flowers Are Given as Tributes at Funerals

Cut flowers should not be given on Chinese New Year as they are often gifts for funerals. This is especially true for white flowers and yellow chrysanthemums, which stand in for death. White is considered a bad (funeral) hue in Chinese culture; hence white flowers must be avoided at all costs.

Enter the Lunar New Year with Yeobuild HomeRepair

Enter the Lunar New Year with Yeobuild HomeRepair

The purpose of the Chinese New Year celebrations is to ring in the new year while contemplating how to hold onto the good fortune that will make you and your family prosperous. Yeobuild HomeRepair steps in to help you with this! We want to make your start to the new year as simple as possible since the finest present you can give yourself is a functional home that keeps you as far away from danger as possible. Get in touch with us today!