31 Best Chinese New Year Gifts 2023: For Coworkers, Friends & Family


The hunt for the best Chinese New Year gifts is on. Yep, you may have thought that now Christmas is over, you’re done with gift-giving – but think again, because it’s nearly Lunar New Year. Anyone who has grown up receiving a red envelope of cash – along with other traditional Chinese New Year gifts – to mark the start of the new Lunar Year will know that this celebration is the perfect time to focus on happiness, prosperity and health. And selecting thoughtful gifts for those you love and cherish – from pick-me-ups for your parents to treats for your friends – is a big part of this.

When is Chinese New Year?

Unlike New Year’s Eve, which always falls on the 31st of December, the first day of Chinese New Year differs from year to year. The celebrations that mark the start of the new Lunar calendar usually start between January 21st and February 20th. This year, the Chinese New Year – which is usually followed by a traditional Lantern Festival – starts on January 22nd, with festivities running through to February 5th.

What is Chinese New Year?

If you live in China – or have visited during the Lunar celebrations – you’ll know that the celebration is usually referred to as the Spring Festival, rather than Chinese New Year (this festival is one of many Lunar festivals celebrated across Asia throughout the calendar year).

Chinese New Year marks the transition from one zodiac sign to another. There are 12 Chinese zodiac signs; these are rat, ox, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each new Lunar year is marked with a new zodiac; for example, 2022 was the Year of the Tiger, whereas 2023 will be the Year of the Rabbit, a sign that signifies hope and long life.

What is an appropriate Chinese New Year gift?

If you don’t usually celebrate the holiday but want to share a gift with someone who does, you might be unsure of which gifts are appropriate to offer.

Something to note is that in East Asian culture, there are certain gifts that are thought of as being unlucky and shouldn’t be gifted for Chinese New Year. Things to avoid are sharp objects – think: knives or scissors – as these symbolise ending relationships. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of watches or clocks as they are known to be symbolic of parting ways. You might also want to give black and white objects a wide berth as these signify death. However, red and gold are good colour choices to opt for.

Another rule of thumb for gifting is to ensure you remove the price tag as, when you leave the price tag on a gift, it insinuates that you’re expecting something of the same value in return (which could be rather awkward).

At its core, the concept of gift giving for Chinese New Year is to express respect and affection, showing those you care about that you cherish and appreciate them.

Feeling a little overwhelmed by all of those gift-giving rules? Panic not, as we’re here to give you a helping hand. To make Chinese New Year gift buying a little easier, we’ve rounded up a selection of (non-unlucky) buys that make perfect tokens for the start of the new Lunar Year.

What are the best gifts to buy to celebrate the Lunar New Year?


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