Our guide to giving gifts for Chinese New Year can help you pick a present for friends, clients or customers celebrating the Chinese or Lunar New Year. From cooking tools to home décor, we have a list of tips and presents to help you adhere to tradition while celebrating the holiday.
The Chinese and Lunar New Year is an exciting time of year in many Asian cultures, filled with festive celebrations ranging from family dinners to fireworks. (First, a quick definition: Chinese New Year, by population the largest such celebration, is one of many Lunar New Years observed across Asia.) If you aren’t familiar with the various cultural traditions that surround Chinese or Lunar New Year, giving gifts for clients, or customers especially, can be difficult.You do not want to offend or send the wrong message with your present. For example, Chinese New Year celebrations are often wildly festive, boasting colorful gifts, firecrackers, and dragon iconography, while Korean culture traditionally prefers marking the Lunar New Year with a more subdued affair. While practices and celebrations can vary, one theme remains constant across all cultures: Family is at the center.
We’ve compiled a list of tips and ideas to help you select culturally appropriate Lunar New Year Gifts for friends, as well as quick guidelines for purchasing gifts for customers and clients.
Lunar and Chinese New Year Gifts For Friends:
Be Clear on Culture: As mentioned above, Lunar New Year traditions can differ from culture to culture. Chinese New Year Celebrations are colorful, lively, and often loud, so pick a gift that matches the vibrancy of the celebration, from a bold-colored scarf to housewares meant for entertaining large groups. A common Japanese custom is to give gifts of money to children (similar to traditional Chinese New Year lucky money), and to have celebrations place a focus on firsts of the year (first smile, first letter, first meal)—calling attention to this tradition in your card or through your gift is a great way to show you care.
Remember Red: If you are searching for a way to celebrate your friend’s Chinese New Year traditions in a meaningful way, don’t overlook the importance of color. Red is believed to be a festive and fortunate color in Chinese culture. Working the color red into your Chinese New Year gifts can be a simple yet appreciated acknowledgement of their cultural beliefs, whether it is part of the gift itself or its wrapping.
When in Doubt, Give a Gift Card: Sometimes the best gifts are those the recipients pick out themselves. If you’re still stuck on what Lunar New Year Gifts your friend would appreciate, try an American Express® Gift Card — it’s a great way to celebrate their culture while enabling them to get something they really want.
Lunar and Chinese New Year Gifts For Clients:
Do Your Research: The first step to selecting the perfect Lunar New Year gifts for clients is to have a basic understanding of the culture’s unique traditions and beliefs. For example, although flowers are a common gift in many countries, in Chinese culture, cut flowers are typical gifts at funerals, so would not be suitable for the Chinese New Year Celebration, a holiday traditionally full of celebration and good wishes for the future.
Keep It Cultural: Culturally relevant gifts for Lunar New Year related to the home or living spaces at the office — such as tea, coffee table books, and small home décor pieces — are a friendly and useful way to acknowledge your clients’ or customers’ heritage through your gift. A card that shares something you learned about their tradition in the shopping process can add a nice personal touch when buying Chinese or Lunar New Year gifts for clients.
Celebrate with a Gift Card: If you aren’t sure what your client or customer would appreciate, or don’t feel completely comfortable with your understanding of the nuances of Asian culture, American Express® Business Gift Cards are easy, stress-free client appreciation gifts. You can still acknowledge their culture by delivering the gift card in a red envelope, as traditional Chinese New Year lucky money.
When choosing gifts for customers, clients or friends in celebration of the Chinese or Lunar New Year, it’s important to understand and respect the unique cultural traditions that accompany the holiday. An American Express® Gift Card is an easy way to give Lunar or Chinese New Year gifts that they can use to purchase virtually anything they please where American Express Cards are accepted.
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