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Posts Tagged ‘Chinese gifts’

Did you know that in traditional Chinese culture, it is customary to give gifts when you visit someone’s home?  It’s known as a visiting gift.  You thank your hosts for inviting you and having you in their home with a gift. These types of Chinese gifts should be useful for everyone.  Here are some ideas as well as some things NOT to give for gifts.

Let’s start with what not to gift.

Avoid these colors: Green, black white. Green implies unfaithfulness, specifically a wife being unfaithful. Black and white are associated with funerals.

No Clocks. They symbolize death and the end a relationship.

Pass the Towels.  Towels are used in funerals. Even for a housewarming, avoid giving towels. It just makes people sad.

Four.  The Chinese word for four sounds like their word for death.  It’s best to avoid the number 4 altogether.

So what type of Chinese gifts make good visiting gifts? Let’s see if we can find some good ones for you.

Chinese Tea TrayIt’s beautiful and functional. There are no associations with death or bad luck. It’s also something everyone can use.

Antique Finish Chinese Landscape Scroll. Beautiful and perfect for a blank wall, everyone will enjoy looking at this scroll.

Traditional visiting gifts can be food. Just make sure it’s not cheese. Chinese people are lactose intolerant. Fruits, especially oranges are safe. Oranges are actually good luck. A fruit basket is a great idea.

These are just a few ideas for now. If you have other ideas, share them with us!

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We’ve been discussing the 2012 year of the dragon for a few weeks now to help you prepare for upcoming festivities. You’re probably preparing by cleaning your home—sweeping away all the bad luck of 2011 so you can start 2012 with good luck. Some of you may even be shopping for last minute Chinese gifts to honor the year of the dragon.  The celebration actually begins Sunday, January 22, 2012—the Chinese New Year’s Eve. Celebrations end 15 days later, February 6, 2012.

Legend has it that the monster Nian used to terrorize villagers.  A beggar once approached Nian with red ornaments and Nian was scared. So the beggar got dressed in red clothing and started dancing in the street. Nian was scared and ran away. Families began to decorate their doors and windows with red and Nian left them alone. The color red was then associated with good luck.

The zodiac animal most associated with good luck is the year of the dragon. Chinese culture celebrates the year of the dragon with the utmost excitement. The year of the dragon in general promises to be prosperous and lucky.

 

The 2012 year of the dragon is actually the water dragon. This dragon is calmer than other elemental dragons. This could be a very good year to resolve conflict as one of the strengths of the water dragon is the art of compromise. Many people in 2012 will also be overly optimistic, even in the face of hardships. There is a sense that everything will work itself out. That being said, dragon years in general years require some caution. Because they are a bit unpredictable and sometimes destructive, bad things can happen rather unexpectedly. But in the end, everything turns out as it should.

2012 is a year of promise, hope, and peace. Celebrate with family and friends, exchange Chinese gifts, and prepare to welcome the good luck promised by the water dragon.

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