Honouring Traditions: Chinese New Year Gift-Giving Etiquette

Chinese New Year is a time of joy and celebration that marks the beginning of a new lunar year. It's a time for family reunions, feasting, and paying respects to ancestors. 

One essential aspect of this festival is the exchange of gifts. Given that this is a tradition deeply rooted in Chinese culture, understanding the various etiquettes associated with Chinese New Year gift-giving is not only a sign of respect but also a way to foster meaningful relationships during this auspicious time. 

In this blog, we will explore the important etiquettes to take note of and traditions surrounding Chinese New Year gifts, including the symbolism of auspicious colours, lucky numbers, and traditional food items.

Chinese New Year Gift-Giving Etiquette

Giving and receiving gifts during the Chinese New Year is a symbol of good fortune and blessings for the year ahead. However, there are several customs and etiquettes to be aware of to ensure that your gifts are well-received and culturally appropriate. 

1. Timing Matters

Chinese New Year follows the lunar calendar, which means the date that it is celebrated changes every year. Therefore, it's crucial to check the Chinese lunar calendar to ensure you're celebrating on the correct day. When it comes to gift-giving, it's customary to offer your presents during the fifteen days of Chinese New Year, with the first day and the last day being especially significant.

2. Auspicious Colours

In Chinese culture, colours hold significant meaning, and during Chinese New Year, red and gold are the most auspicious colours. Red symbolises good luck and happiness, while gold represents wealth and prosperity. When selecting gifts or wrapping them, incorporating these colours is a thoughtful gesture that conveys your wishes for a prosperous year.

3. Lucky and Unlucky Numbers

Chinese culture places great importance on lucky numbers, and Chinese New Year gifts are often given in sets of lucky numbers, such as 6, 8, and 9. The number 6 sounds like “smooth” in Mandarin, 8 sounds like “wealth,” and 9 sounds like “long-lasting.” Incorporating these numbers into your gift choices or the quantity of gifts can bring additional blessings.

In contrast to the significance of lucky numbers, Chinese culture also associates certain numbers with bad luck. For example, the number 4 is often considered unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for "death" in Mandarin. As a result, it is typically avoided in gift-giving and other aspects of Chinese culture to avoid any negative connotations.

4. Respecting Elders

When presenting Chinese New Year gifts to elderly relatives, it is customary to do so with both hands as a sign of respect. The act of giving and receiving should be done graciously and with a polite greeting.

5 Chinese New Year Gifts to Consider This Year

Selecting the right gifts is a crucial aspect of Chinese New Year gift-giving. Traditional gifts often revolve around symbolism and cultural significance. Here are some popular choices:

1. Red Packets (Hongbao)

Red envelopes filled with money, known as “hongbao,” are a symbol of good luck and prosperity. They are typically given during Chinese New Year to children, unmarried adults, and anyone you want to bestow good fortune upon. The amount of money should include lucky numbers and, of course, avoid those that are considered unlucky.

2. Tangerines and Oranges

Tangerines and oranges are favoured gifts during Chinese New Year as their pronunciation in Mandarin sounds like “wealth” and “luck.” These vibrant fruits symbolise good fortune and abundance, making them a cherished choice to convey heartfelt wishes during the festive season. 

You can also explore a variety of gift baskets filled with these auspicious fruits in our Chinese New Year collection to make your gesture even more special.

3. Traditional Chinese Food

Food plays a central role in Chinese New Year celebrations, and gifting traditional delicacies is common. Items like Nian Gao (glutinous rice cake), symbolising growth and prosperity, are popular choices. Including these items in your gift hampers or baskets is a thoughtful way to celebrate the occasion.

4. Flowers

CSF 16

Flowers play a significant role in Chinese culture, and some blooms are associated with good luck and positive energy. For instance, peonies represent wealth and honour, while orchids symbolise refinement and integrity. However, white flowers are considered inauspicious and should not be gifted to commemorate Chinese New Year. 

At Joaquim Florist, we offer a wide range of exquisite CNY floral arrangements in our Chinese New Year hamper collection, offering a convenient way for you to convey your best wishes. Moreover, our convenient and timely hand bouquet delivery ensures that your thoughtful gift reaches the recipient on time.

5. Chinese New Year Hampers


Hampers filled with an assortment of premium goods and delicacies are a popular gift choice for wishing a happy Chinese New Year. They often include dried fruits, nuts, wine, and traditional Chinese snacks. 

At Joaquim Florist, we understand the importance of honouring traditions during the Chinese New Year. That's why our range of hampers caters to various tastes and preferences, ensuring a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary delights. From the richness of dried fruits symbolising prosperity to the symbolism of nuts for a long and healthy life, each element in our hampers holds a special meaning.

Elevate Your Chinese New Year Celebrations With Joaquim Florist

Chinese New Year is a time of joy, tradition, and heartfelt connections. By understanding and adhering to Chinese New Year gift-giving etiquette, you can participate in the festivities meaningfully. Whether you prefer giving red envelopes or sending loved ones an elegant Chinese New Year hamper from Joaquim Florist, your thoughtful gestures will always be appreciated. 

Moreover, with our convenient delivery options, you can ensure that your gifts reach their recipients promptly, adding an extra layer of ease and convenience to your Chinese New Year celebrations. So, embrace the traditions, share your blessings, and let the spirit of Chinese New Year bring joy to your loved ones.