Lunar New Year: a celebration of tradition, superstitions, family, and great food.
While it can be known as Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year or Spring Festival is actually celebrated in many Asian countries, including South Korea, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Unlike western countries that use the Gregorian calendar to mark holidays with set dates, Lunar New Year follows the lunar calendar and the dates vary slightly every year depending on when the first moon begins. Typically, the festival is between the end of January and the first few weeks of February and can last up to sixteen days.
It is one of the most, if not the most, important holiday of most Asian cultures. Business and schools close and families all return to their hometowns to celebrate for a week. The new year marks new luck and fortune, so houses are cleaned to rid them of bad luck and memories and new clothes are bought to symbolize a fresh start.
Lunar New Year Gift-Giving: a Practice of Thoughtfulness and Superstition
So, do you get gifts during the Lunar New Year? The answer is YES. Plenty of gifts are given and received but there are specific rules and etiquettes to follow. Unlike birthdays or Christmas, Lunar New Year gifts centre around ensuring prosperity and good fortune and that’s where colours and numbers become very important. Gift-giving during the new year is a form of love and respect: as every gift is your wish for loved ones to have a year full of good fortune, an abundance of wealth and happiness.
Dos and Don’ts of Lunar Year Gifting
Lucky (and Unlucky) Colours
In a lot of Asian cultures, the colours red, gold, and yellow are very lucky and often symbolize wealth and prosperity. On the other side of the coin, “unlucky” colours such as black, white, or blue are avoided as they are associated with death and misfortune.
Lucky (and Unlucky) Numbers
Numbers play a very significant role in Asian tradition. Often it is the sound association, or homonyms, to particular words that make up the superstition. The number “four” is often very taboo as it sounds like the word for death. So any number with four is always considered bad luck. Whereas “eight” is considered one of the luckiest numbers as it sounds like the word for wealth and success.
Even numbers (apart from four) are often thought of as lucky. So money should be given in even numbers, the amount of gifts given should be even as well, and even the act of giving and receiving should be done with two hands rather than one.
Learn more about the dos and don’ts of Lunar New Year gift-giving here. *Please note, the article mainly refers to Chinese traditions and beliefs.
What Gifts Should I Give for Lunar New Year?
So with all these rules, superstitions and etiquettes to consider, how do you decide what gifts to give? Thankfully, you’re still able to give amazing gifts that respect the customs and traditions around Lunar New Year.
Money: the most prosperous gift of all
The “lucky red packet” is probably the most famous symbol of Lunar New Year. Fresh, crisp and new bills (a must) are given to children, unmarried adults, and from adults to their elderly parents in traditionally bright red envelopes. This gift is an act of appreciation and well-wishes to the receiver.
Food: Plenty to eat and share is a sign of great fortune and wealth
Eating is a great part of celebrating Lunar New Year. And one of the main themes is abundance and the good fortune of having plenty to eat. Common Chinese New Year food gifts include dumplings, fish, chicken, and noodles. While traditional cakes like sweet rice balls and sticky rice cakes are made, many other sweets are enjoyed as sweet foods can symbolize a “sweet life”. Therefore chocolate is always a popular gift to bring home and gift loved ones during Lunar New Year.
If you’re looking for great chocolate gifts to ring in a new year full of prosperity, wealth, and blessing for your family, Purdys’ Lunar New Year collection is full of beautiful choices.
Six fortune cookies enrobed in smooth dark chocolate and then drizzled with white chocolate.
Lunar New Year Chocolate Coins
Solid milk chocolate coins moulded and foiled to resemble the loonie, perfect to fill red packets.
18 lucky pieces of solid milk chocolate Gold Coins and Lunar New Year Miniatures, this tin is decorated with lanterns to guide and protect.
Year of the Tiger Gift Box
Commemorate the Year of the Tiger with a gift box featuring an assortment of our bestselling chocolates.
Lunar New Year Mini Favourites
Give the gift of good fortune with 8 lucky chocolates including Mini Hedgehog, Yuzu and Matcha.