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Things You Should NOT Give As a Chinese New Year Gift

Friday, January 6, 2017 - 16:17

Things You Should NOT Give As a Chinese New Year Gift

Chinese New Year is just a few weeks away, and for many expats, it is a great time to celebrate with local and foreign friends. However, it is important to remember that there is a large cultural difference between they way Chinese and foreigners welcome the new year.Even though gifts are very popular during Chinese New Year, be aware of the cultural differences to prevent giving the wrong gift and causing a wrong impression to your Chinese friends. Here is a list of gifts you should avoid giving during the holiday:

1.      Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects insinuate you want to cut off your relationship with that person. So if you want to keep that special person in your life, we suggest you scratch off sharp objects from your list.

2.    Four of Anything

As you may know by now, the number 4 pronunciation in Chinese is similar to death, therefore it is considered unlucky. Avoid gifts that come in sets or multiples of 4.

3.    Shoes

Avoid shoes at all costs. Same as the number 4, the way Chinese pronounce “shoes” and the way they pronounce “evil” is very similar.

4.    Handkerchiefs

Similar to sharp objects, handkerchiefs symbolize “leaving forever” or “saying goodbye forever” due to its usage on funerals.

5.    Umbrellas

Giving somebody an umbrella may insinuate that you feel your relationship with them is falling apart.

6.    Clocks

Clocks and Watches symbolize running out of time. Therefore it is considered very inappropriate to give them as a gift in Chinese culture.

7.    Pears

Pears are a taboo since the Chinese pronunciation is the same as “leaving”.

8.    Cut Flowers

Cut flowers are generally presents for funerals, so do not give them on Chinese New Year! This is especially so for Yellow Chrysanthemums and any white flowers, which represent death. White is an unlucky (funeral) color in Chinese culture, so white flowers should be avoided.

9.    Black or White Objects

These colors are often important during funerals, so avoid them as a Chinese New Year Gift. When it comes to colors, red is always the best option since it symbolizes fortune.

10.    Mirrors

Mirrors are a bad idea for gifts throughout much of Asia, as they are believed to attract malicious ghosts.