The Perfect Chinese New Year Gift For New Beginnings

As the auspicious occasion of Chinese New Year approaches, the air is filled with excitement and anticipation for the festivities ahead. Central to this unique Chinese celebration is the tradition of exchanging presents and gifts, symbolizing blessings of prosperity, happiness, and good fortune for the coming year.

In this article, we explore the cultural significance of gifting during the Lunar New Year celebration and how the tradition has evolved in modern times.

The Significance of Chinese New Year Gifts

Chinese New Year is a time of joy, reunion, and celebration, marked by the exchange of gifts as symbols of good luck, prosperity, and wishes for a fresh start. From well-packed CNY hampers with fresh fruits to more extravagant Chinese gift boxes, the act of gift-giving during Lunar New Year encapsulates goodwill and generosity that defines the holiday spirit.

Traditional Lunar New Year Gifts

During Lunar New Year, certain gifts hold special significance and are deeply rooted in cultural traditions. Red envelopes (ang baos), mandarin oranges, and traditional CNY snacks and sweet treats are among the most common and auspicious gifts exchanged during this time.

Mother and son in traditional Chinese clothing exchanging gifts

9 Traditional Lunar New Year Gifts in Chinese Culture

1. Red Envelopes (Ang Baos)

Red envelopes, also known as ang baos, are traditional envelopes filled with money and given as gifts during Chinese New Year. Symbolizing luck and prosperity, these red envelopes are exchanged among every family member, close friends, and colleagues to usher in good fortune for the new year ahead.

2. Mandarin Oranges

These golden fruits are a quintessential CNY gift symbolizing abundance and prosperity. They are exchanged as tokens of good luck and well wishes for the upcoming year, with their round shape representing fullness and completeness in life.

3. Chinese New Year Snacks and Treats

Snacks and treats are popular gifts for all, including kids in Lunar New Year traditions. From crispy sesame cookies to sweet pineapple tarts and chicken essence, these delicacies delight the taste buds and makes a nice gift for adults and kids alike.

4. Tea Sets

New year gift set of teaware are cherished gifts during Lunar New Year, symbolizing harmony, respect, and hospitality. Choose elegant tea sets featuring teapots and matching cups adorned with auspicious motifs as a great gift for elders.

5. Decorative Red Lanterns

Red lanterns are iconic symbols of Lunar New Year festivities, representing joy, luck, and prosperity. It adds a festive flair to homes of family members and even offices during the Lunar New Year celebrations.

6. Lucky Bamboo Plants

Lucky plant like bamboo plants are popular gifts believed to bring good fortune and positive energy into the home, keeping bad luck away. These resilient and easy-to-care-for plants are great for family with kids and given as symbols of longevity, prosperity, and growth.

7. Chinese Calligraphy Art

Chinese calligraphy art featuring any auspicious Chinese character or phrases is a traditional gift that makes a nice gesture as it conveys heartfelt wishes for the new year. Choose beautifully crafted calligraphy scrolls or framed artwork to give to your business partners or Chinese hosts when making a visit.

8. Traditional Chinese Clothing (Cheongsam or Changshan)

Traditional Chinese clothing such as cheongsam (for women) or changshan (for men) makes a stylish and culturally rich gift in Chinese culture. These elegant garments are also available with a modern twist that still showcases intricate designs and vibrant colors.

9. Traditional Chinese Tea Set

Traditional tea set is appreciated by many for their exquisite flavors and health benefits. Choose premium varieties such as green tea, oolong tea, or pu-erh tea packaged in decorative new year box or an exquisite hamper to delight any tea lover.

Modern Chinese New Year Gifts To Consider

While traditional gifts remain cherished, modern CNY gift trends have embraced innovation and personalization. From Lunar New Year hampers with tech gadgets to personalized gifts and wellness products, there's a growing diversity in the types of gifts exchanged during the festive season.

Young child receiving a red envelope during Lunar New Year

7 Non-Traditional Gifts During Lunar New Year Celebration

1. Tech Gadgets

Embrace modernity by gifting tech gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, or smartwatches. These practical and innovative gifts are perfect for tech-savvy recipients who appreciate cutting-edge technology and even for kids.

2. Personalized Items

Pre order gifts with customized items such as engraved jewelry, monogrammed accessories, or personalized photo frames. These thoughtful gifts showcase attention to detail and sentimentality.

3. Wellness Products

Show you care for the well-being of your loved ones by gifting wellness products such as aromatherapy diffusers, essential oils, or fitness trackers. These gifts promote relaxation, health, and mindfulness during the festive season.

4. Experiences

Create lasting memories by gifting experiences such as cooking classes, event tickets or spa vouchers that are available in multiple locations. Experiential gifts offer the opportunity for meaningful bonding and enjoyment with family and friends.

5. Home Décor

Enhance the ambiance of the home with stylish home décor items such as decorative candles, indoor plants, or elegant wall art. These gifts add warmth and personality to living spaces, perfect for ushering in the new year with good wishes.

6. Subscription Services

Treat your loved ones to the gift of convenience and entertainment with subscription services such as streaming platforms, magazine subscriptions, or meal kit deliveries. These gifts provide ongoing enjoyment throughout the year.

7. Charitable Donations

Spread goodwill and compassion by making charitable donations in honor of your loved ones. Choose meaningful causes or organizations that resonate with their values, making a positive impact in the community during Chinese New Year.

Choosing the Perfect Chinese New Year Presents

Selecting the perfect Chinese New Year gift involves thoughtful consideration of the recipient's preferences, cultural symbolism, and the quality of the gift. By understanding these factors, you can ensure that your gift reflects sincerity and respect for Chinese New Year traditions.

Where to Find Lunar New Year Presents

Finding the right Chinese New Year presents and gifts can be an exciting adventure. From local markets and specialty stores to online retailers, there are numerous options to explore when seeking unique and meaningful gifts for your loved ones.

5 Places to Find Gifts For Lunar New Year Celebration in Singapore

  1. Chinatown

    • Chinatown in Singapore offers a cultural immersion and a wide array of gift choices during Chinese New Year. Explore the vibrant streets and traditional markets for festive decorations, auspicious ornaments, and traditional Lunar New Year snacks.

  2. Local Markets and Bazaars

    • Visit local markets and bazaars across Singapore, transformed into bustling hubs of activity during the festive season. These markets feature a diverse selection of Chinese New Year gifts, including decorative items, festive hampers, and specialty foods.

  3. Shopping Malls

    • Singapore's shopping malls are treasure troves of Chinese New Year presents and gifts, with department stores and specialty shops showcasing a variety of options to suit every taste and budget. Enjoy the convenience and accessibility of shopping malls for your gift needs.

  4. Online Retailers

    • Explore the convenience of online shopping with a myriad of online retailers specializing in Chinese New Year gifts. From virtual marketplaces to dedicated e-commerce platforms, online retailers offer a wide range of options and doorstep delivery for hassle-free gift shopping.

  5. Specialty Stores

    • Discover specialty stores across Singapore that cater specifically to crafting a unique Chinese New Year hamper. These stores offer unique and curated collections of traditional and contemporary gifts, providing a memorable shopping experience for those seeking distinctive presents.

DIY Chinese New Year Gift Ideas

For those who enjoy adding a personal touch to their gifts, DIY Chinese New Year gift ideas offer creative inspiration. From homemade treats to handcrafted decorations, DIY gifts convey thoughtfulness and effort, making them extra special for the recipient.

3 DIY Lunar New Year Gift Ideas For You

  1. Handmade Red Packet Lanterns

    • Transform traditional red packets (ang baos) into vibrant lanterns by folding and stringing them together. Use a variety of red packet designs to create a colorful and festive display. Hang the lanterns around the home or garden to bring luck and prosperity for the new year.

  2. Homemade Fortune Cookies

    • Add a personal touch to Chinese New Year celebrations by baking homemade fortune cookies or your own CNY snacks. Write custom messages of good fortune and well wishes to tuck inside each cookie. Package the cookies in decorative boxes or bags for a delightful and delicious gift.

  3. Customized Calligraphy Art

    • Tap into your creativity by creating customized calligraphy art pieces featuring auspicious Chinese New Year phrases or blessings. Use traditional brush pens and ink to handwrite the characters onto quality paper or cardstock. Frame the finished artwork for a meaningful and decorative gift that symbolizes good luck and prosperity.

Gift Wrapping and Presentation Tips

Presentation is key when it comes to Chinese New Year gifts. Discover tips and techniques for beautifully wrapping and presenting your gifts, adding to the anticipation of the annual celebration in Lunar calendar.

3 Ways To Wrap CNY Gifts

  1. Customized Gift Basket:

    • Create a customized gift basket filled with an assortment of Chinese New Year goodies and treats. Include traditional snacks such as pineapple tarts, nian gao (sticky rice cake), dried fruits, or premium chocolates that reflect the recipient's interests and preferences. Decorate the basket with auspicious symbols such as red ribbons and gold ornaments for a festive touch. This thoughtful and personalized presentation showcases your attention to detail and consideration for the recipient's enjoyment.

  2. Fabric Furoshiki Wrapping:

    • Embrace eco-friendly wrapping with the Japanese art of furoshiki. Choose a vibrant piece of fabric, such as silk or satin, with auspicious patterns or colors. Place gifts like a tea set in the center of the fabric and wrap it using traditional furoshiki techniques, securing the corners with knots or decorative ties. This method not only looks beautiful but also allows the recipient to reuse the fabric for other purposes.

  3. Lucky Knot Wrapping:

    • Incorporate Chinese knotting techniques to create decorative knots that adorn your gift wrapping. Use red or gold cord to tie intricate knots around the gift, incorporating symbols of luck and prosperity such as the infinity knot or the mystic knot. Add embellishments such as tassels or beads for an extra touch of elegance. This method is also possible when bringing a nice bottle of red wine.

Etiquette Around Giving Chinese New Year Gifts

Understanding the etiquette around giving Chinese New Year gifts is essential for navigating cultural norms and traditions. Learn about customary practices and gestures that demonstrate respect and goodwill during this auspicious time.


As Chinese New Year approaches, the exchange of presents and gifts serves as a meaningful expression of love, respect, and blessings. Whether honoring age-old traditions or embracing modern trends, the spirit of giving fosters warmth and togetherness among family and friends during this festive season.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the traditional gift for Chinese New Year?

Red packets, also known as "ang baos," are the traditional gifts exchanged during Chinese New Year. These red envelopes contain money and symbolize good luck, prosperity, and blessings for the recipient in the coming year.

What is a good luck gift for Chinese?

A good luck gift for Chinese individuals can vary depending on personal preferences and cultural beliefs. However, popular choices include items that symbolize luck, such as lucky bamboo plants, Chinese knots, or figurines of the Chinese zodiac animals.

What is the traditional food gift for Chinese New Year?

Traditional food gifts for Chinese New Year often include items that symbolize prosperity, abundance, and good fortune. Popular choices include Mandarin oranges, pineapple tarts, nian gao (sticky rice cake), dried fruits, nuts, and assorted candies or sweets. These delicacies are exchanged as tokens of well wishes and enjoyment during the festive season.