What Do You Give a Chinese Person for New Year?

Welcome to our guide on what to give a Chinese person for New Year! Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a significant holiday celebrated by millions around the world.

Gift-giving is an integral part of this festive occasion, symbolizing goodwill, prosperity, and blessings for the upcoming year. But what gifts are appropriate for Chinese New Year?

In this article, we'll explore traditional and modern gift ideas, offer tips for choosing the perfect gift, and provide answers to common questions about Chinese New Year gifts.

Significance of Gift Giving in Chinese Culture

In Chinese culture, the act of giving and receiving gifts holds deep significance, particularly during festivals like Chinese New Year. Gifts are more than just material possessions; they represent expressions of respect, gratitude, and good wishes for the recipient's well-being and prosperity.

Understanding the cultural importance of gift-giving can help you choose a meaningful yet proper gift that resonates with this special occasion in the Chinese calendar.

Traditional Gifts for Chinese New Year Celebration

A popular Chinese gift beats no other, tradition is always appreciated by both old and young.

Red Envelopes (Hongbao)

A nice gift commonly exchanged among Chinese people during Chinese New Year is the red envelope, known as Hongbao. These envelopes are typically filled with money and given to children, unmarried individuals, and employees as a symbol of good luck and prosperity for the coming year. 

Elderly woman presenting a red envelope to younger women in red dresses during a Lunar New Year gathering

Oranges and Tangerines

Oranges and tangerines are also popular Chinese New Year gifts due to their association with abundance and good fortune among Chinese people. Giving these fruits make a gentle and effective way to present well wishes for a prosperous year ahead.

Traditional Snacks and Sweets

Gifts of traditional snacks and sweets are good gift ideas to share joy and sweetness your Chinese friends. Candied fruits, dried nuts, and sweet pastries are among the delicacies enjoyed during the festive season.

Tea and Tea Sets

Tea holds a special place in Chinese culture, symbolizing respect, harmony, and tranquility. Giving bagged tea or elegant tea sets as gifts conveys good wishes for peace and prosperity in the recipient's life.

Modern Trends for A Chinese New Year Gift

While traditional Chinese New Year gifts remain popular, new gifting trends have also emerged in modern Lunar New Year traditions. They make a pleasant surprise for the younger generations and a Chinese friend!

Technology Gadgets

With the rise of digital culture, technology gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches now make a great gift for your loved ones. It doesn't have to be an expensive gift, but you can consider giving gifts that are practical instead.

Fashion and Accessories

Luxury fashion items and accessories from renowned brands are popular gift choices, reflecting status, style, and appreciation for loved ones.

Health and Wellness Products

Gifts that promote health and well-being, such as skincare sets, fitness trackers, and aromatherapy diffusers, are good gifts for people that prioritize self-care and holistic living. As an example, a high quality comb can be enjoyed by both genders!

Chinese New Year Gift Ideas for Gifting Chinese Hosts

These Chinese New Year gifts convey your respect, gratitude, and warm wishes for your hosts' happiness and prosperity during the Lunar New Year festivities. They make great gifts and are sure to be appreciated by your families and Chinese friends.

6 Chinese New Year Gifts for Your Chinese Hosts

Fruit Basket

Present a Chinese New Year gift consist of seasonal fruits, such as oranges, tangerines, apples, and grapes. Fruits symbolize abundance, prosperity, and good health, making them an auspicious gift for Chinese people.

Assortment of Lunar New Year treats including nuts, seeds, and candies in a festive container, accompanied by fresh oranges and lucky red envelopes

Quality Tea

Offer a selection of high-quality tea as a gift, such as green tea, oolong tea, or Pu-erh tea, packaged in decorative tins or boxes. Tea is deeply ingrained in Chinese culture and represents hospitality, respect, and harmony, making it a thoughtful gift that can be treasured even in cold winter by a tea lover.

Premium Alcohol

Consider gifting a bottle of premium Chinese liquor, such as Baijiu or Maotai, as a gesture of celebration and goodwill. Alcohol is often enjoyed during the Lunar New Year celebration, and a fine bottle of liquor is sure to be appreciated by your Chinese hosts.

Red Envelopes (Hongbao)

Bring red envelopes filled with money as a traditional and symbolic gift for your hosts' children or younger family members. Red envelopes symbolize good luck, prosperity, and blessings for the new year and are commonly given during Chinese New Year celebrations.

Decorative Home Items

Present decorative home items that symbolize good fortune and happiness, such as Chinese calligraphy scrolls with auspicious phrases, decorative lanterns, or ornamental figurines of zodiac animals. These items can enhance your hosts' home décor and bring blessings to their household.

Traditional Treats

Bring a selection of traditional Chinese New Year treats, such as dried fruits, nuts, candies, and snacks, beautifully packaged in gift boxes or baskets. These treats make appropriate gifts for all ages and symbolizes sweetness, prosperity, and happiness in the new year.

Chinese New Year Gifts for Elders

These Chinese New Year gifts convey your love, respect, and appreciation for your elders while honoring Chinese New Year traditions and customs. They are sure to be cherished and enjoyed as meaningful tokens of your warm wishes for their happiness and prosperity in the year ahead.

3 Gifts for Giving Chinese Parents-in-Law

Gift Baskets with Traditional Treats

Create a gift basket filled with an assortment of Chinese New Year treats such as dried fruits, nuts, candies, and snacks. Include a variety of auspicious items like tangerines, red envelopes (Hongbao) with money, and a traditional Chinese medicine to wish them prosperity and happiness in the new year.

Personalized Gifts

Show your thoughtfulness by giving personalized gifts that reflect your appreciation. Consider items such as custom-made family portraits, engraved photo frames with memorable moments, or personalized calendars featuring family photos and important dates to cherish throughout the year.

Spa or Relaxation Packages

Treat your parents-in-law to a luxurious spa day or relaxation package to help them unwind and rejuvenate during the busy holiday season. Choose a reputable spa or wellness center that offers services such as massages, facials, and aromatherapy treatments, allowing them to indulge in some well-deserved pampering and self-care.

Lunar New Year Gifts for Kids

These Chinese New Year gifts combine tradition, education, and fun, providing kids with memorable experiences and fostering a deeper appreciation for Chinese culture and heritage during the Lunar New Year festivities.

9 Lunar New Year Gifts for Kids

  1. Lunar New Year Books: Books themed around Chinese New Year, featuring stories, folklore, or educational content about the holiday and its traditions, make excellent gifts for kids. These enlightening reading materials can help children learn about the cultural significance of the holiday while providing entertainment and fostering a sense of connection to their heritage.

  2. Arts and Crafts Kits: DIY arts and crafts kits themed around Chinese New Year offer children a creative way to celebrate the holiday. You can also gift them crafty stationery such as a school notebook, writing pen or school supplies in a nicely wrapped box. Small gifts are cuter sometimes!

  3. Lunar New Year Outfits: Dressing up in new clothes for Chinese New Year is a cherished tradition, and gifting kids with festive outfits adds to the excitement of the holiday. Traditional attires such as qipao (cheongsam) for girls or tangzhuang for boys, adorned with auspicious motifs or vibrant colors, make adorable and meaningful gifts for kids to wear during festive gatherings and celebrations.

  4. Barbie Dolls: A high-quality Barbie doll is a timeless gift that inspires imagination and creativity in a little girl. Choose from a variety of Barbie dolls, accessories, and playsets to suit the child's interests and preferences.

  5. Remote Control Cars: A remote control car is an exciting gift that provide hours of entertainment and encourage outdoor play. Look for durable and well-made remote control cars that are suitable for the child's age and skill level.

  6. Educational Toys: Invest in an educational good quality toy that stimulate learning and development while providing fun and enjoyment. Options include puzzles, building blocks, STEM toys, and interactive learning games that promote cognitive skills and creativity.

  7. Books: Inspire a love for reading and learning by gifting high-quality books that capture the child's interests and imagination. Choose from a wide range of children's books, including picture books, storybooks, and educational books that offer engaging content and beautiful illustrations.

  8. Board Games: Foster social skills, teamwork, and strategic thinking with board games that are suitable for children of all ages. Select classic board games or modern favorites that offer fun and challenging gameplay, such as Monopoly, Scrabble, or Ticket to Ride.

  9. Outdoor Play Equipment: Encourage active play and exploration with outdoor play equipment that promotes physical activity and adventure. Options include bicycles, scooters, trampolines, and sports equipment that allow children to stay active and enjoy the great outdoors.

Factors to Consider When Choosing An Ideal Gift

When choosing a gift for Chinese New Year, several factors should be considered to ensure it is appropriate, thoughtful, and well-received.

By considering these factors, you can choose a thoughtful and appropriate gift that honors the Chinese New Year culture, reflects your relationship with the recipient, and conveys your warm wishes for prosperity, happiness, and good fortune in the new year.

Cultural Significance

Consider the cultural significance of the gift and its relevance to Chinese New Year culture. Opt for gifts that symbolize good luck, prosperity, happiness, and longevity, such as red-colored items, fruits, sweets, and traditional handicrafts.

Recipient's Preferences

Take into account the preferences, interests, and lifestyle of the recipient when selecting a gift. Choose a practical gift that aligns with their tastes and hobbies, ensuring it will be appreciated and enjoyed.

Relationship with the Recipient

Consider the nature of your relationship with the recipient, whether they are family members, normal friends, colleagues, or business associates. Choose a gift that reflects the level of closeness and intimacy in your relationship, whether it's a heartfelt gesture or a more formal token of appreciation.


Determine your budget for the gift and select something that is within your means. Remember that the thought and sentiment behind the gift are more important than its monetary value, so focus on finding something meaningful rather than splurging on overly expensive gifts.


Choose a gift that is practical and useful for the recipient. Consider their needs and lifestyle when selecting a gift, ensuring it will be something they can use and enjoy in their daily life.

Cultural Sensitivity

Be mindful of cultural sensitivities and avoid gifts that may be considered inappropriate or taboo in Chinese culture. Items such as clocks, sharp objects, or anything in sets of four are a big no no, as they are associated with negative connotations and bad luck.


Pay attention to the presentation of the gift, as it adds to the overall impression and significance of the gesture. Consider packaging the gift beautifully with festive wrapping paper, ribbons, and a handwritten card to convey your warm wishes for the new year.


Personalize the gift whenever possible to make it more meaningful and special for the recipient. Add a personal touch such as engraving their name, initials, or a meaningful message to show that you've put thought and effort into selecting the gift.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Lunar New Year Gift

To make your gift memorable and meaningful, consider these tips:

Personalization and Thoughtfulness

Choose a gift that resonates with the recipient's interests, hobbies, or aspirations. Personalize your gift to make it unique for the recipient and express your appreciation for the relationship.

Shopping Early

Avoid the last-minute rush by planning ahead and shopping for gifts well in advance. It's part of any gift giving etiquette to choose a thoughtful gift, so you must shop early to be able to choose good gifts.

Presentation and Packaging

Pay attention to the presentation of your gift, as elegant packaging adds to the overall appeal.


In conclusion, choosing the perfect gift for a Chinese person for Lunar New Year involves thoughtful consideration of traditional customs, modern trends, and personal preferences.

By selecting a gift that reflects the spirit of the occasion and conveys your heartfelt wishes, you can participate in the joyous tradition of Chinese New Year gift-giving with sincerity and goodwill.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the traditional gift for Chinese New Year?

The traditional gift for Chinese New Year is red envelopes, also known as "Hongbao" in Mandarin or "Lai See" in Cantonese. These red envelopes contain money and are given to children, family members, and friends as a symbol of good luck, prosperity, and blessings for the new year.

What is the best gift to give a Chinese person?

The best gift to give a Chinese person depends on the individual's preferences, relationship with the giver, and the occasion. However, thoughtful gifts that align with Chinese cultural values and traditions are often appreciated. Examples include red envelopes with money, high-quality tea or tea sets, traditional handicrafts, and items with auspicious symbolism.

What is traditionally given at Chinese New Year?

Traditionally, gifts exchanged during Chinese New Year include red envelopes filled with money, fresh fruits such as oranges and tangerines, traditional snacks and sweets, tea sets, and decorative items featuring auspicious symbols like the Chinese character for "fortune" (福) or images of zodiac animals.

What is a good luck gift in Chinese?

Good luck gifts in Chinese culture often include items that symbolize prosperity, happiness, and longevity. Examples include red-colored items, which are believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune, as well as traditional symbols such as the Chinese character for "fortune" (福), lucky bamboo plants, goldfish, and Chinese knots. These gifts are believed to bring blessings and positive energy to the recipient's life.