Chinese New Year Gift Ideas and Gift-Giving Etiquette

January 31, 2022
Chinese New Year Gift Ideas

A gift of appreciation during the Chinese New Year is an unavoidable custom in Chinese families while celebrating the commencement of a new year. People pick different gifts for their Chinese friends, colleagues and family members to share their joy in welcoming a brand new year. Here are some great Chinese New Year gift ideas for you to consider this festive season.

Chinese New Year Gift Ideas

Elegant Tea and Tea Sets

Tea is long considered a health drink used in most families. The Chinese tea culture enjoys great popularity all over the world. It is a drink that was originally enjoyed by emperors and officials during ancient times. High-quality tea leaves packed in a good tin is an excellent pick as a Chinese New Year gift to someone. Make sure to opt for tea leaves rather than tea bags while gifting. 

Historians believe that the first tea set emerged in China during the Han Dynasty. During this period, tea ware was made of porcelain, and it came out in a couple of styles, which are the northern white porcelain and southern blue porcelain. A tea set will be a timeless choice that is both aesthetically pleasing and useful. It also makes a good choice as a new year gift to anyone who enjoys having tea, especially for friends who just started a family. 

You can pick high-quality ceramic teapot cup sets that look simple and beautiful. You can also choose tea trays made of bamboo panels that would not get damaged easily.


Clothes can be a great gifting choice for your significant other and close friends. A winter set with a scarf, hat and gloves can be a good pick as it would convey how much you consider the wellbeing and comfort of the people you give it. Clothes make a useful and sentimental gift for them during the Chinese New Year. 

Do make sure to not give new shoes to anyone for the new year.


Alcohol is a simple and cool pick since it has the advantage that it comes with a variety of options. A bottle of champagne, wine, or whiskey can be an excellent choice of gift for a family that is planning to host a lot of people to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Customised Chinese Name Seal

You can choose to engrave the name of the recipient on a Chinese seal. It can be a timeless piece of gift for a friend, family member, or colleague during the Chinese New Year. The recipient can leave his/her mark or use the seal as an official means of signing their names.

Red Envelopes with and without Money

Gifting red envelopes with money in it is a common tradition during the Chinese New Year, and also on other occasions such as weddings and birthdays. Gift crisp and shiny new bills in multiples of a hundred, and also based on a lucky number. Money is normally kept inside red envelopes, but remember to not place coins or amounts with the number 4 in the envelopes as it sounds like the word for death according to Chinese numerology. 

In case you are planning to give someone a set of red envelopes, go for the ones with silk material and tassels that represent good luck and health. Giving a set of these red envelopes shows your care and blessing towards the recipient.

Fresh Fruits

Giving fresh fruits is a great choice among Chinese New Year gift ideas when you visit a family or friend, as they symbolise new beginnings. They are also used as offerings in temples and are a popular gift choice to people who host you on Chinese New Year. Present them a basket of fruits such as kiwi, apples, oranges, and delicious seasonal fruits.

Plants and Cacti

Plants are great gifts according to Chinese culture. Succulents and cacti make good choices to give to someone as they are low-maintenance plants, and hence they won’t be an overburden to anyone in addition to the advantage of being extremely cute. These plants also add life to someone's home, so do not hesitate to give plants to people who love to keep their space alive.

Chinese Gift-Giving Etiquette You Should Know

It is important to get familiar with traditional Chinese gifting customs before gifting anyone to not backfire the gesture. Here are a few important things to consider while picking gifts for people.

Avoid Expensive Items

Chinese culture places heavy emphasis on saving money, which is why it is important to choose gifts intentionally according to the economic status of the recipient. It is always best to make the receiver feel uncomfortable by receiving a really expensive item as they might keep worrying about returning the favour with some other expensive gifts for another occasion. You should not also pick something of low value. In short, be aware of the monetary value of the gift and go for a decent gift.

Use Proper Wrapping Paper

Colour symbolism is a natural part of Chinese culture. Do not choose black or white coloured wrappers. Go for the bright red colour which symbolises good fortune, or yellow which is regarded as the traditional colour reserved for the emperor. Blue coloured wrappers that symbolise healing and immortality is also a good pick.

Gift at the Right Time

Giving gifts to your host upon arrival after greeting them is the best way to gift as per etiquette. You can also gift them after you sit down inside and settle while they prepare tea for you or while you start interacting. Remember to not keep gifting for the last minute before you leave.

Do Not Open the Gifts In Front the Ones Who Gift You

This is not a big deal for people among younger generations. However, people do not open the gifts in front of the gift-giver according to Chinese traditions. It is nothing to get surprised about if you are about to gift a Chinese friend for the first time. People refrain from opening their gifts in front of people and it is completely normal.

Gift Delivery Service in Singapore

Are you looking for a trusted professional to collect and deliver gifts to your loved ones this Chinese New Year? Look no further!

Book Tasks & Errands service on the Sendhelper app. Get one of our approved service partners to not only deliver gifts and parcels, but also help you run errands or even organise your home.

Services recommended for you