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Best Chinese New Year Gifts: Prosperity in Every Present

Best Chinese New Year Gifts: Prosperity in Every Present

As we enter 2024, the vibrant and joyous celebration of Chinese New Year beckons us with its rich traditions, festive spirit, and the universal message of hope and prosperity. A central part of these celebrations is the exchange of gifts - a way to convey respect, affection, and well-wishes for the year ahead. But what makes the perfect Chinese New Year gift? 

Let's dive into some thoughtful and prosperous gift ideas for this special occasion!

Why We Give Gifts During Chinese New Year

chinese new year hongbao and sweets
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash


Gift-giving during Chinese New Year is steeped in tradition and symbolism. It's more than just a token of appreciation; it’s a way to wish loved ones good luck, happiness, and prosperity in the coming year.

Historically, gifts like red envelopes (hongbao) filled with money are given, especially to children, symbolising good luck and warding off evil spirits. Similarly, offerings of food, tea, or fruits are common, each carrying its own meaningful symbolism in Chinese culture.

Gift Ideas That Symbolise Prosperity

The tradition of giving gifts that symbolise prosperity during Chinese New Year is deeply rooted in the cultural and historical practices of China, reflecting the underlying values and beliefs of the society.

Also known as the Spring Festival, it marks the beginning of a new lunar year. It's a time for sweeping out the old and welcoming the new. Gifts symbolising prosperity are given in the hope of attracting good fortune, wealth, and success in the upcoming year.

If you’re wondering what gifts can help you convey this wish of abundance for your loved ones, here are some Chinese New Year gift ideas


Food is traditionally given as gifts during Chinese New Year and plays a significant role in the celebrations. Food gifts are not only a means of sharing and enjoying delicious treats but also carry symbolic meanings related to prosperity, longevity, wealth, and good fortune. 

Some of the most common food gifts include oranges and tangerines: These fruits are popular gifts as they symbolise wealth and good luck. The Chinese words for orange and tangerine sound like "luck" and "wealth," respectively.

Also, offering sweets and candies is believed to sweeten the recipient's prospects in the coming year. They are often presented in a special tray known as a "Tray of Togetherness," which has various compartments filled with different sweets.

Meanwhile, the Nian Gao (Year Cake) is a sticky rice cake that symbolises growth, progress, and the promise of a higher income or position. Its name is a homophone for "higher year."

Nuts and seeds are likewise traditional gifts because they symbolise fertility and abundance. Fine alcohol, like premium baijiu or wine, is often gifted and used for toasting health and happiness.

These food gifts are often given in attractive packaging, and  Chinese New Year Gift Hampers in Singapore are quite popular. In essence, these food items are more than just consumables; they are laden with wishes for prosperity, health, and happiness in the new year.

Gold Jewelry or Ornaments

Gold is a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Gifting gold jewelry, or decorative items can be a beautiful way to wish someone a prosperous year. Look for pieces with dragons or other traditional Chinese symbols for added significance.

Tea Sets

tea chinese new year gift set


Tea is deeply rooted in Chinese culture, symbolising purity and unity. A fine tea set or a selection of high-quality teas can be a sophisticated and culturally respectful gift, ideal for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

Red Envelopes (Hongbao)

hongbao chinese new year gift

You can’t go wrong with the traditional red envelope. Enclose a monetary gift in these beautifully decorated envelopes as a token of good fortune and blessings.

Calligraphy Sets or Artwork

For the art lover or the culturally inclined, a set of Chinese calligraphy tools or artwork that portrays traditional Chinese symbols of luck and prosperity, like koi fish or lotus flowers, can be both thoughtful and elegant.

Customised Gifts

Personalised gifts, such as engraved pens, custom-made diaries, or even a set of personalised chopsticks, add a unique touch to your New Year gift. They show thoughtfulness and care in your choice.

Manifest Gift Set

Manifest CNY gift set


If you’re looking for something contemporary yet meaningful, this beautifully packaged set includes an Abundance Candle and Blooming Fortune Room Spray, both imbued with scents (such as pomelo and tangerine) that are believed to attract prosperity and good fortune.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Gift

As we’ve discussed, the Chinese New Year symbolises a new beginning, and gifts are believed to set the tone for the year ahead. A carefully selected gift can bring positivity and good fortune, both to the giver and the receiver.

Here are our tips:

Know the Recipient

Understand their tastes and preferences. A gift that resonates with the individual’s personality and interests is always more appreciated.

Surely, you wouldn’t want to create a moment of awkwardness when the gift is openedespecially if the receiver is unsure how to react to a gift they don’t particularly like or find useful, right?

Mind the Cultural Nuances

Be aware of cultural symbols and their meanings. Avoid items that might be considered taboo or unlucky in Chinese culture.

Among some gifts that are generally best avoided are clocks, as gifting this symbolises "giving the end," due to its association with time running out or death. The phrase for giving a clock in Chinese sounds like the phrase for attending a funeral.

Another example is sharp objects. Items like knives or scissors are considered bad luck as gifts because they symbolise cutting ties or severing relationships. Likewise, gifting shoes can be seen as a sign that you want the person to walk away or leave. It's also considered bad luck in some regions.

Presentation Matters

tea and candle gift set

In Chinese culture, how a gift is presented is almost as important as the gift itself. Nowadays, many brands are offering Chinese New Year gift boxes or hampers in attractive packaging. If you will be the one preparing the gifts, it’s best to use bright, auspicious colours like red and gold for wrapping.

Add a Personal Touch

A handwritten card or a personal message can add warmth to your gift, making it more memorable.


Chinese New Year is a time of joy, family gatherings, and optimism for the future. If you are looking for Chinese New Year Gifts in Singapore, remember to give presents that resonate with the spirit of prosperity and good fortune. Remember, you’re not just giving a gift; you’re sharing a part of this wonderful tradition. Here’s to a prosperous and joyous year ahead!

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