five Unexpected Chinese New Year Taboos

I love Chinese New Year. The lion dance, the snacks, the family members reunion, the party… I really like it all. Developing up in a Chinese neighborhood, Chinese New Year traditions has usually been frequent information so it wasn’t until I began studying abroad did I realize that Chinese New Year is, in reality, full of gifting traps. With Chinese New Year nearing, I thought I’d share some of these ‘traps’ with you and how you can steer clear of them.

1.In no way Send Sharp Objects as Gifts

Regardless of whether or not it is a set of useful knives with chopping board or a pair of scissors in a decorative set, sharp objects does not make a very good present during Chinese New Year. This is because sharp objects are used to reduce factors and for the duration of Chinese New Year, providing sharp objects represent cutting bonds and friendship. Hence, sending your Chinese buddy a sharp object as a gift signifies breaking your friendship apart. The identical applies to all other types of bonds. Sending sharp objects to your client signifies breaking the corporate relationship amongst the two organizations and sending sharp objects to your spouse or parents signifies breaking the household apart.

Like all other traditions, the younger generation is likely to be significantly less sensitive to the matter and a lot more understanding towards their foreign counterparts. Nonetheless, to avoid an awkward and unpleasant conversation, it is still suggested to steer clear of sharp objects when picking Chinese New Year gifts. If you wish to make certain that your gift is ‘taboo-free’, you can usually opt to get a Chinese New Year hamper instead given that hampers are typical Chinese New Year gifts. Right here is a list of excellent Chinese New Year hampers that you could wish to take into account:

two.Umbrellas, Clocks and Green Hats

In Chinese, the term ‘umbrella’ (Chinese character: 伞) and the term ‘separate’ (Chinese character: 散) are both pronounced as ‘san’. The similarity between the two pronunciations tends to make umbrella a symbol of separation. Giving an individual an umbrella during Chinese New Year signifies breaking the connection you share with your recipient. Likewise, due to the similarity between the Chinese pronunciation of providing clocks (Chinese character: 送钟) and the Chinese pronunciation of sending the dead off (Chinese character: 送终), clocks are regarded inappropriate and unlucky gifts.

If you are not familiar with the Chinese language, it is highly suggested for you to give a Chinese New Year hamper alternatively of sourcing for other gifts. This is due to the fact these hampers are likely to be made by hamper designers who are familiar with the language. Here is a list of Chinese New Year hamper you could like:

3.Only Give Necklaces and Bracelets to Your Girlfriend or Spouse

Gifts such as necklaces, bracelets or anything with chains are the opposite of umbrellas and sharp objects. Rather of breaking bonds, these gifts signifies the formation of intimate bonds. This signifies that giving your girlfriend or wife a necklace during Chinese New Year is fine but giving your mother-in-law a necklace (even if the necklace comes in pairs and is made to be shared among mothers and daughters) will be catastrophic. Likewise, giving your client a pocket watch will most possibly outcome in an awkward conversation and giving your client’s wife a bracelet will absolutely bring about some glares.

If this is the very first time you celebrate Chinese New Year, do take note that Chinese New Year is the time when the complete family members gathers. Consequently, you must be further careful with your gifts simply because the older generation is a lot more sensitive about maintaining the tradition and following the guidelines. Right here is a list of Chinese New Year hampers that will aid you impress your Chinese in-laws or buddies:

four.Nothing at all Black

When it comes to fashion, black is one particular of the most convenient colours since it goes nicely with almost everything. Regrettably, in the course of Chinese New Year, the colour signifies death and is regarded as unlucky due to the fact black has been connected with a hearse (a automobile that transports dead bodies in a coffin). That is why wearing a black t-shirt during Chinese New Year will, undoubtedly, turn some heads and sending a present wrapped in black or a present that is black in colour (e.g – a box of black licorice) will be disastrous. Even the younger generation would have difficulty swallowing a black gift during Chinese New Year because the gift is deemed also insensitive and disrespectful towards their culture and tradition.

Note that this taboo is applicable to all type of gifts. Even if you have wrapped a beautiful hamper with a dozen brightly-coloured solution plus 1 black item, your gift would still be regarded as inconsiderate. This list of authentic Chinese New Year Hamper (which can be found right here: are fantastic examples of correct Chinese New Year gifting. As can be noticed on the site, in addition to the decorations, all the goods inside the hamper keep away from the colour black.

5.Keep away from White

Giving a white-coloured present in the course of Chinese New Year translates to wishing that the recipient would fall ill and be hospitalized. This is since although black reminds Chinese of a hearse, white reminds us of an ambulance. Furthermore, because illness leads to death, white also signifies death and is stated to bring about poor luck.

It is worth noting that there is some exception to the rule although. A excellent instance of this is the hamper, Prestigious Fortune, which can be discovered right here: Two of the items in the hamper, the Mika Cashewnut Cookies in Tin and the Ceramic Fortune Cat, are white in colour but are welcomed in this hamper. The purpose behind this is that the design of both these items are auspicious. The pink Chinese character printed on the tin can actually means ‘lucky’ whereas the fortune cat has often been a symbol of attracting excellent fortune.

In conclusion, Chinese New Year is a time of celebration but it can also be quite difficult because a lot of gifts are considered inappropriate for the duration of this time. There are five frequent gifting taboos that you should keep away from. Firstly, anything sharp is regarded as a symbol of severing bonds and breaking relationships so gifts like knives sets and scissors should be avoided. Secondly, due to their Chinese pronunciations, umbrella signifies breaking connections and clock signifies death. Thirdly, gifts such as necklaces and bracelets need to only be provided to wives and girlfriends because it signifies the formation of intimate bonds. Fourthly, black reminds Chinese of a hearse and black must not be observed Chinese New Year gifts. Lastly, white is the colour of the ambulance and as such, is considered unlucky. That becoming mentioned, in spite of the confusing guidelines, Chinese New Year is a wonderful tradition and a wonderful time for celebration. We hope our suggestions have cleared some confusion and make way for you to get pleasure from a great Chinese New Year.

Satisfied Chinese New Year, absolutely everyone!