The year of the Monkey is here!
Chinese New Year marks the day of the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar - the new moon in the middle of the winter solstice and the spring equinox. This year's awaited Chinese New Year falls on 8 February and precedes two weeks of celebration. Chinese New Year is traditionally followed by 15 days of festivities, including Renri, the Jade Emperor's party and culminating in the beautiful and iconic Lantern Festival. During this time of celebration, it is common for small gifts to be given to friends and family in addition to the red envelopes given by older people to younger, unmarried people.
This Chinese New Year, there are some great deals, sales and discounts to be had. We've done the hard work and rounded them all up for you. Now you can compare and make sure that you're getting the best possible deal.
Best sales and deals this Chinese New Year
Things you shouldn't gift for Chinese New Year
- Anything relating to the number 4: In Chinese languages the number 4 sounds like the word for death and is considered to be unlucky.
- Mirrors: Mirrors are believed by some to attract ghosts.
- Clock and watches: These items are symbols for running out of time, especially for older people. In addition "giving a clock" sounds the same as "attending a funeral ritual" in Chinese languages. For these reasons you would never give someone a clock or watch.
- Black or white objects: These are traditionally funeral colours and should not be used for gifts.
- Sharp objects: Sharps like knives and scissors symbolise division. Gifting this suggests you want to cut ties with that person.
- Fresh cut flowers (especially chrysanthemums): Again, these are a taboo gift as they are used and given to people at funerals.
- Pears: The Chinese language word for "pears" sounds very similar to the word for "parting" and therefore pears are a taboo gift.
- Handkerchiefs: These are another item that are traditionally given at funerals making them an unsuitable gift for celebrations.
- Shoes: The word for "shoes" sounds like the word for "evil". Also, giving shoes may suggest you want to walk away from the relationship.
Red envelopes are a traditional gift given from older or more senior people to younger unmarried or more junior people. For example, employers will give to their employees or you may give to your friends' children. Many younger married people will also give red envelopes to their parents.
These red envelopes are typically filled with an even sum of money that excludes the number 4. Odd numbers are determined by the first and second numbers so numbers like 50 are considered odd because 5 is an odd number. Even numbers are numbers like 22 or 26. As 4 is a very unlucky number, you would never give an amount like 4, 24 or 40.
It is important to know that red is a very joyous, lucky and prosperous colour, so the giving of red envelopes is more about the red paper than the cash. The money is added to bring blessing and good fortune to the receivers. Do not feel pressured to give large amounts. It is definitely the thought that counts.
Other popular Chinese New Year gifts
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See our best places to celebrate Chinese New Year