Chinese New Year, the year of the monkey a time for celebration, and with January 18 almost upon us, we discover the art of gifting. Jurlique consultant Dan Xu Zhang from Smith and Caughey's in Auckland shares her guide this special occasion.
What is the history behind the tradition of gift giving?
It's a celebration as with western cultures, and the giving of a gift symbolises sharing happiness between family and friends.
What are the symbols associated with Chinese New Year?
Fu, the character 福, meaning 'fortune' or 'good luck' and the red lantern.
What are some of the most popular gifts to give over this time?
A red envelope with money or something personal.
What are the colours associated with Chinese New Year.
Red and gold.
Is there a minimum amount someone should spend on a gift?
There is no limit, however never gift an amount that includes four, most other even numbers are okay, and eight is the luckiest Chinese number 88 is ideal.
Are there any wrapping rules?
Pay attention to the colour of the gift and the wrapping paper you have used to present it. Avoid white, as it's associated with funerals; and black or blue, as these colours are both synonymous with death. The best choices are red, yellow and gold as they all symbolise wealth and prosperity.
Receiving a gift is also worth noting Dan says, make sure you receive a gift with two hands; this shows respect and appreciation towards the act of giving and the giver. If you are gifting money, make sure the notes are crisp and new. It's considered a sign of disrespect to give money that is torn or used-looking and resist the urge to open it immediately in front of the giver. Finally, start by presenting your gift to the oldest (or most senior) member of the family first.
Gift ideas include:
Tea: A box of loose white or green tea.
Fruits: Fruit baskets filled with oranges or apples symbolise safety and fortune.
A beauty gift: Personal gifts including plant based skin care is a popular choice.
The new Chinese New Year 2017 is the year of the chicken.