The Chinese New Year (also known as Lunar New Year) stands as China's grandest celebration, observed not only within China but also in Chinese communities worldwide. This festive occasion, deeply rooted in tradition, encompasses numerous customs, customary dishes, and symbolic items thought to bestow luck for the upcoming year.
During the Chinese New Year, people exchange gifts. This is done to wish each other prosperity and good fortune. Unlike birthdays or Christmas, Chinese New Year gifts are chosen carefully, considering colours and numbers. These gifts symbolize love and respect, as they convey the sender's wishes for the recipient to have a year filled with wealth and happiness, making them perfect presents for Chinese New Year gift baskets in Toronto.
Perfect Gift Ideas for Chinese New Year
- Red Packets
Also called hongbao, red packets, are famous Chinese New Year gifts. People put money inside red envelopes and give them to family, friends, and coworkers. Traditionally, elders gave them to the younger generation.
People use fresh, clean money in these envelopes to bring good luck and blessings for the coming year. When giving or receiving red envelopes, it is polite to use both hands and not open them in front of the giver.
One of the popular New Year gift choices involves presenting tea. Tea boasts an extensive history and cultural significance in China. This simple beverage graces the majority of Chinese households and holds a significant place in daily Chinese existence. Tea stands as a valuable gift due to its reputation as a wholesome drink once exclusively savoured by emperors and government officials.
Today, the delightful flavour of tea and its health advantages are accessible to everyone, alongside a multitude of tea options, rendering it an excellent New Year present. However, it is wise to steer clear of inexpensive tea bags and opt for high-quality tea leaves elegantly enclosed in a tin container.
Consider acquiring an elegant assortment of tea leaves in a decorative box, making it a perfect choice for tea aficionados.
- Fruit Basket
Ripe fruits represent vitality and fresh starts. People also bring fruits to places of worship. During such occasions, you typically find oranges, kumquats, tangerines, and pomelos.
Certainly, gifting a vibrant fruit basket with apples, oranges, kiwis, and assorted fresh fruits can bring joy.
Each year should start and finish with a delightful touch. Consider gifting your clients chocolates to wish them a sweet New Year. Opt for a variety of flavours like matcha, durian, dark, and wasabi to bring joy and pique their curiosity.
- Wine and Alcohol
For a mature and sweet flavour, add some alcoholic beverages.
A good red wine, a combination of red and white wines, or even Champagne can make a big difference in China. Whiskey and other imported liquors are also excellent choices because they are not easily found in China. Additionally, during the New Year dinner, it is customary for folks to raise their glasses to one another, typically with wine or spirits.
Gold is significant during Chinese New Year for giving presents. In the month before the new year, many people buy gold because they think it will bring good luck to both the buyer and the recipient for the coming year.
- Money Tree
Money trees rank high as the favoured plants for Chinese New Year. It is not astonishing, as they represent wealth and luck, drawing in total prosperity. These plants require minimal attention, thriving in indirect sunlight and infrequent watering. They make for low-maintenance companions in your household. Moreover, their shiny leaves adorned with delightful Chinese New Year ornaments will infuse your home this season!
- Lucky Charms
Chinese culture abounds with numerous symbols thought to bring good luck and ward off misfortune. These symbols can be tiny trinkets like pendants, amulets, and charms. People wear them, display them in their homes, or carry them in their bags. For instance, a jade pendant or a gold ingot amulet is said to attract wealth and prosperity. Newlyweds often receive a "Double Happiness" charm as a token of marital happiness.
Feasting plays a significant role in the Lunar New Year festivities. A central idea is the blessing of having an abundance of delicious food. Typical Chinese New Year presents consist of dumplings, fish, chicken, and noodles. Alongside traditional treats like sweet rice balls and sticky rice cakes, people relish various sugary delights to represent a prosperous life. As a result, chocolate remains a favourite choice for bringing joy and sharing with cherished ones during the Lunar New Year celebration.
- Pineapple Tarts
On Chinese New Year, it is crucial to offer sweet treats like pineapple tarts to usher in a year full of sweetness. Presenting pineapple tarts as presents during lunar festivities is an ideal method to extend good wishes for prosperity and good fortune to the recipients. In Cantonese and Hokkien dialects, the term for pineapple is "ong lai", signifying the arrival of fortune.
- New Clothes
In Chinese culture, acquiring fresh attire symbolizes a fresh start. Donning new clothing strongly highlights the notion of transformation, discarding the old, and welcoming a brighter future. Historically, mothers or wives used to craft new garments for their kin in preparation for the Chinese New Year. Hence, gifting new outfits to your loved ones during this festive time can be a truly cherished gesture.
- Red Dates
Chinese New Year snacks like red dates symbolize wealth and prosperity in China. These dates come dried in packages, perfect for snacking or making tea when sliced.
What to Not to Give During Chinese New Year
Exchanging gifts carry great meaning during the Chinese New Year festivities, symbolizing good wishes and luck for the upcoming year. Nevertheless, making inappropriate gift choices could lead to embarrassment or offend the recipient.
- Black or White Items
In Chinese tradition, red is regarded as an auspicious colour. Conversely, black and white are associated with funerals and are considered unlucky during the Chinese New Year. Therefore, refrain from choosing gifts predominantly in black or white hues or wrapped in paper of these colours.
- Steer Clear of Sharp Objects
Gifts such as scissors or knives with sharp edges should be omitted from your choices for Chinese New Year. These items symbolize cutting, which might imply a desire to sever a friendship or relationship.
In China, the phrase "giving a clock" sounds remarkably similar to the words for "attending a funeral", signifying bad luck. Presenting a clock as a Chinese New Year gift is regarded as taboo.
- Cut Flowers
They are typically associated with sombre occasions like funerals, especially chrysanthemums and any white blooms. It’s best to avoid gifting cut flowers when visiting a Chinese family during this holiday.
Finding the right gift for your loved ones during Chinese New Year can be challenging. However, creating a Chinese gift basket by combining a few of these gift suggestions is a great solution!
Discover exceptional gift baskets at Alexandria Gift Baskets. Take your gifting experience to new heights and send joy to your loved ones this Chinese New Year. Explore our wide selection of personalized gift baskets to make any occasion perfect. Call us today at (416) 666-8361, or use our contact us form for all your queries. We also offer services, like gift baskets delivered to Toronto and across Ontario. Shop now for memorable surprises!