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5 Chinese Gifting Traditions You Should Know

Each of us has received or given gifts. This kind of human relationship is the same around the world. However, in China, there are some etiquette that one should take note of when receiving and giving gifts. Choosing the right gift can bring good luck to the other party. What etiquette and details should be paid attention to when giving gifts? Read more below! 

1) Colors
Chinese people pay great attention to colors, such colors like pink and yellow symbolize happiness while gold is for wealth and wealth. Thus, using these colors to wrap paper, ribbons and bows are the best. However, there are also certain colors to be avoided when wrapping gifts. One of which is white, wherein this is used for funerals and implies death. Black and blue are also to be avoided as this symbolizes death. In writing the greeting card or gift tag, Chinese people avoid writing in red ink, as it means death and is considered bad luck.

2) Use both hands
As a way of showing respect and courtesy in receiving and giving gifts, Chinese people always use both hands to give and receive the gift to someone. It is considered very impolite to only use one hand to receive gifts especially when giving and receiving from the elderly. 

3) Gifts must be meaningful
The value of the gift depends on the occasion and the relationship with the other party. In a formal occasion or business event, the most senior person should receive the most expensive gift. If ever one may encounter a situation wherein they don’t know what’s the best to give, it is advisable that they give gifts relating to their cultural background or souvenir items. On the other hand, when giving a red envelope or angpao, the amount inside will depend on the situation. It is advisable that money should be crisp and new. Folding of money or giving dirty or wrinkled banknotes is highly avoided. Coins and checks are also avoided by the Chinese people. 

4) Don’t open right away
Just like the etiquette of using both hands to receive a gift, it is best that gifts shouldn’t be open right after receiving it as a way of showing respect and courtesy. If one opens the gift right away, this is considered very impolite and will make the person giving the gift a bit embarrassing.

5) Avoid these taboos
Lastly, in order to not be embarrassed in front of a large crowd or receiver when giving gifts, Chinese people avoid these gifting taboos such as the gifting of umbrellas, watches and shoes. For them, the sound of shoes and evil when pronounced in Chinese sounds the same, that’s why they believe that if you give shoes, you are sending evil spirits and bad luck to them. For umbrellas, the sound of umbrella and scattered when pronounced in Chinese sounds the same, that’s why they believe that if you give umbrellas to couples or friends, this will imply that friendship or relationship will split or separate in the future. Lastly, for the watch/clock,  giving these will imply that you are them to die early, especially for the elderly, which is very impolite and bad luck. 

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