22 Best Chinese New Year Gifts for Family, Friends, and Clients

Written by Apple Updated Jan. 7, 2022

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is one of the most important holidays in China. During the New Year Celebration, as in many other countries else, gifts are usually given to show friendship, respect, gratitude, or love. This article will help you get some suggestions for great Chinese gift ideas.

1. Clothes

Chinese New Year falls in winter when the weather can be extremely cold. Clothes like a sweater, down-filled vests, or thermal clothes are nice and thoughtful choices for the elderly.

2. Accessories

You can also prepare a scarf, a hat, a pair of gloves, or a bundle of warm, wool socks for boyfriends or girlfriends, especially for those who live in northern China.  

3. Back & Neck Massagers

In traditional Chinese medicine, massagers work by applying pressure to certain points of the body to relax muscles and improve blood circulation. A high-quality back & neck massager effectively relieves tension and eases the pain in the neck and back for seniors.  

4. Tea and Tea Set

Tea is the most popular drink among Chinese people. It is a nice drink with a fragrant aroma and plays an important role in social gatherings as a way of showing hospitality. Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that tea is good for health. It would make a popular gift for business clients. 

If your Chinese hosts like drinking tea, an elegant set of teaware is a nice choice. A Chinese tea set is usually composed of a teapot, teacups, and a tea tray, which are packed in an exquisite box.

5. Tonic Foods

Food therapy has a long history in China while traditional tonic foods such as ginseng, royal jelly, edible bird's nest, Chinese Cordyceps, and goji berries are best known for improving health and wellness. 

6. Electric Blanket

A warm, comforting, and toes thoughtful electric blanket which keeps elderly people cozy and warms all winter long is also a perfect gift choice.  

7. Electronic Gadgets

If you are quite intimate with your hosts, appropriate electronic products can also be presented as gifts. There are many electronic devices available that have been designed specifically for seniors, which can make their daily activities easier and safer, like a smartphone, or a large button telephone.  

8. Red Envelopes

A red envelope (in Chinese: 红包, pinyin: hongbao) is an ideal gift given during Chinese New Year for children of all ages, from newborns to toddlers. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and best wishes. 

The amount of lucky money inside the envelope ranges from CNY 200 to 1,000. Remember that the amount usually ends with an even digit. Red envelopes would be the most popular gifts among kids. 

Read more details on Chinese New Year Red Envelopes.

9. Snacks

Snacks are always kids' favorite. Kid-friendly snacks such as candies, cookies, and chocolates are always the best snack choice for kids. You can also choose snacks such as yogurt, nuts, and cereal that are both delicious and healthy.

10. School Supplies

If your hosts' children are school students, school supplies such as a writing pen, a notebook, a pencil bag, a box of crayons, and paintbrushes would make great gifts for them. 

11.  Toys

Giving young children toys as Chinese New Year gifts would definitely make them happy. You can get a stuffed animal or Barbie doll for a girl, LEGO, Transformer, or a remote control car for a boy.

12. Books

Books can be considered one of the best gifts to kids because they can be thoughtful and sometimes thought-provoking. If you are close to your host's family, you can also send a book with a short handwritten note to make the gift more meaningful. 

13. Beverages

You can also present some beverages as gifts to kids. Packaged milk, boxed juice, or coconut juice are popular choices. 

14. Accessories

You can also present accessories as Chinese New Year gifts, such as exquisite hair accessories for girls, gloves, or a nice scarf for boys. 

15. Sports Equipment

If your host's family has a sporty kid, a baby tricycle, a children's bicycle, or a scooter will give the kids a pleasant surprise.

16. Fruits

Fresh fruits have been popular gifts to friends for almost all occasions. Apples in boxes would be the best choice because they symbolize safety and peace in China. The Chinese word for apple shares the same sound as the word for safety. In addition, oranges are also a good choice. 

17.  Alcohol

If your Chinese friends like drinking, bottles of wine will be appreciated as a Chinese New Year gift. Wine is usually given in two bottles, in accordance with Chinese culture.

18. Red Dates

Red dates are one of the top Chinese New Year snacks that symbolize wealth and prosperity in China. Red dates are often served as dried fruits in wrapped packages. They are ready to eat as snacks or be cut into slices to make tea.

19. Glutinous Rice Cake

Glutinous rice cake is a traditional Chinese New Year food. It is considered good luck to eat them during the Spring Festival because it has the symbolism of progress, advancement, and growth.  You can find gift-wrapped glutinous rice cakes in almost every supermarket before and during the Chinese New Year. 

20. Healthy Food

There are some packaged healthy foods that would be served as Spring Festival gifts. For instance, exquisite packages of dried seafood, gift-wrapped nuts, or oatmeal are nice gift choices.

21. Homemade Food

Baked gourmet such as homemade cookies, biscuits, cakes, or gingerbread makes a wonderful present for just about every occasion. It's the homiest gift you can give. There's truly no one who won't appreciate an adorable container of freshly baked goods.

22. Crafts

If your hosts have just moved into a new house, you can bring a nice craft according to their interests. For instance, paintings or some small decorative articles. 

Things to be Avoided as Chinese New Year Gifts 

Giving gifts is meaningful during the Chinese New Year holidays as it is about exchanging good wishes and luck for the new year. However, wrong gift choices could embarrass or even offend your recipient.  Here list of some things that should not be chosen as Chinese New Year gifts.

1. Black or White Objects

Red is a lucky color in Chinese tradition. Conversely, black and white are considered funeral colors and unlucky during Chinese New Year. So avoid things that are largely black or white or present paper in these colors.

2. Sharp Objects

Sharp objects like scissors or knives should be avoided as a Chinese New Year gift.  Because they are used to cutting things, suggesting that you want to cut off a friendship or relationship.

3. Clock

In China, saying "giving a clock" sounds exactly like the Chinese words for "attending a funeral", which is considered bad luck. So giving a clock as a Chinese New Year gift is taboo. 

4. Cut Flowers

Cut flowers are generally associated with occasions like funerals, especially chrysanthemums, and any white flowers. So do not show up at a Chinese family with cut flowers. 

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