Five Things You Should Avoid For Chinese New Year Gifts

Celebrating Chinese New Year with friends that are celebrating definitely a delightful event. What better to share the festive feeling with them than giving out gifts. However, choosing a wrong gifts just a recipe for disaster. Here are five taboo things you should not consider as Chinese New Year gifts.

[ Sharp Stuff ]
Sharp objects like knifes, swords, scissors and should be avoided, for they suggest a relationship to be cut off. If you give these stuff to others, it means that you are going to break off with the receivers as a common Chinese saying goes “one slash and its in two parts“.

[ Mirrors ]
During Chinese New Year or other festivals, people seldom give mirrors as gift out of two reasons. One is that mirrors are fragile, and breaking a mirror is usually an omen of relationship breakdown. The other reason is related with the old Feng Shui culture. Mirror is an important tool to change a house’s Feng Shui layout, so if a mirror is placed in a wrong direction, the misfortune will be incurred.

[Black and White ]
In traditional Chinese culture, red is regarded as lucky and auspicious, but white and black are considered as ominous, which most apply to occasions like funerals. When choosing New Year gifts, you are supposed to give up on these two colours and go for red instead!

[ Clocks ]
The Chinese pronunciation of ‘clock’ () is the same with that of ‘end’ (). The latter one usually suggests a person’s death, so presenting a clock as a New Year gift is a taboo. The recipients will get irritated. Worst case, you see clock flying into a dustbin.

[ Number 4 ]
Four is the most unwelcome number in China. People will try to avoid the number 4 in phone numbers or car numbers, even living on the fourth floor is considered unlucky. The reason is simple – the pronunciation of ‘four’ () is the similar with the word ‘death’ (), which is the ultimate taboo for Chinese people.

There you have it, five taboo gifts during Chinese New Year as per told by my close friends. How these relevant in modern days now, I wasn’t sure. But what I do know, we need to respect the differences of culture to promote harmony and peace. These might be obsolete, but better keep yourself prepare than being sorry though.

Happy Chinese New Year!

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  1. Will certainly take note of all the tips so thank you kindly on the share 🙂 Didn’t really realize on the sharp stuff but its good to know on that too.

  2. Great suggetions, and being a quater chinese myself, i do agree with all the taboo’s and their reasons. 🙂

  3. Yeah, it’s true that there are many ‘pantang’ stuff when gifting for CNY, but I think the younger generation are less superstitious now.. still good to know 🙂

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