In the Chinese culture, gift giving plays a key role in not only demonstrating respect to elders and superiors but also in allowing them to show their commitment and enthusiasm toward maintaining close relationships with family and friends. If you plan to observe the Chinese custom of giving gifts to friends, colleagues, and business partners this Lunar New Year, ensure you select the gifts keeping in mind the traditional and cultural significance of the gift.
What types of gifts are acceptable? And how is giving a gift different from giving a bribe? Here are few gift options you can choose from without worrying about being offensive or hurting anyone.
Fruits and Candies
Mandarin oranges are most popular gifts to take to someone’s home. You can take other fruits too, but oranges are considered a prayer or a wish for good fortune. Fresh fruits at the new year symbolize life and a new beginning. You can take any fruit but not a pear since it is not considered lucky. Sugared fruits or candies are considered to be a wish for a sweet year.
Food Supplements and Herbs
Best bet for giving such gifts would be to take the organic version of these foods, supplements, or herbs. You can also gift them assorted tea or vitamins. These will the most cherished gifts for senior colleagues or older family members.
Chinese new year is widely celebrated with wearing new clothes. It is a good idea to buy new clothes for friends. Remember to pick something in red or pink. You can buy sweaters, gloves, coats, t-shirts, anything. Avoid gifting a green hat to men. Black and white colors won’t be acceptable as well.
It is acceptable to gift alcohol, cigarettes, or cigars. Alcohol is generally gifted to male friends or family members. High-quality, imported wine would be really appreciated.
Whatever you buy, don’t forget that presentation matters a lot too. Always present gifts properly wrapped in bright colors like red and pink or put them in a box or basket and present them with both hands.
If you want to be spoilt for more options, check out Mooments, where we have gift cards from all the major merchants across Singapore.