Chinese New Year and Gifting Traditions.

The heads up on what to and what not to gift this Lunar New Year in Hong Kong.

Kumquat trees, red lanterns and fai chun (揮春) can be seen throughout Hong Kong, as we soon celebrate the Chinese New Year and enter into the Year of the Ox. Traditional customs throughout Hong Kong, China and the rest of the world include large family gatherings, offering blessings for the year ahead and exchanging presents. The act of giving during the Lunar New Year is a sign of respect and to offer good luck for the coming year. Nevertheless, it is important to understand the gifting traditions of the Chinese New Year as there are a few rules of etiquette.

macro shot photography of paper lantern
Photo by Red Morley Hewitt

Lai See

The most recognisable gift during Chinese New Year is in the form of Lai See, a little red envelope with gold writing on the front, typically containing money inside. Traditionally, lucky money was given to children for Chinese New Year to scare away a monster called “祟” suì, who would terrorise sleeping children and cause them to become ill. Legend says, that the coins in the red envelope by the child’s bed scares the monster away and protects the child. Today, children still receive lucky money, sweets and presents. Endowery’s A SWEET CNY box is a perfect gift for all ages. The gift box includes Sugarfina Lotus Flower gummies blooming with fresh lychee flavour, lucky red Mahjong socks and a red moleskine notebook, to write one’s visions for the coming year.

gold and white religious print book on red textile
Photo by Jason Leung

What’s Lucky?

The colours red, yellow and gold decorate the streets of Hong Kong as they symbolise wealth and prosperity. So, pay special attention to the colour of your gift! A word of warning, both white and black are unlucky colours for Chinese New Year. In addition (pardon the pun), when planning gifts it is important to consider specific numbers. Predominantly work in even numbers but avoid the number four. The luckiest number in Chinese superstition is the number eight!

Thoughtful Gifts

Whether you are celebrating with your family or friends or loved ones this year in Hong Kong, a carefully selected gift can go a long way. In Chinese culture, the concept of respecting elders is very important. When offering blessings to elders for the new year, the focus is on wishing them a healthy and long life. So, giving more practical and traditional gifts, such as tea, shows that you are thoughtful and care for their well being.

clear glass cup with tea near brown ceramic teapot
Photo by Manki Kim

Gifting your friends and loved ones shows your respect and affection towards them. But, if you have been planning to give a watch to your loved one … Chinese New Year is not the time, as it is a sign of bad luck. If you are struggling to think of a present, the YEAR OF THE OX BOX includes practical, meaningful and lucky gifts perfect for the New Year in Hong Kong. Golden Whisky Ice Stones pair flawlessly with the tilted Aerating Whisky Glass to create an indulgent whiskey experience. Or, for the makeup lover, the GOLDEN HOUR BEAUTY BOX contains the beauty essentials to create irresistible, golden makeup looks to enter into the new year.

During Chinese New Year in Hong Kong it is also common practice to gift clients. Whether you are trying to choose an appropriate gift for a large corporate or a small business Endowery can help you. With our curating expertise we can design corporate gift boxes based on your requirements and create the perfect Chinese New Year token of respect.

Kung Hei Fat Choi!


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