I’m so excited about the upcoming Lunar New Year, which is also called the Chinese New Year and the Spring Festival. It is the most important traditional festival and is celebrated by a number of Asian countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam. It’s on Feb. 8th this year and it’s the year of Monkey!
Chinese New Year is a time for giving, whether in the form of the popular, traditional red envelope filled with money (紅包 hóngbāo), or in the form of other material goods. No matter if you and your family celebrate this holiday or if you plan to send gifts to your friends or clients, there are some basic (and fun) rules to follow when selecting and giving a gift at Chinese New Year:
1) Greetings: During the Chinese New Year, you’ll often hear families and friends greet each other by saying “Gong Xi Fa Cai” (恭禧發財), which means “may you be happy and prosperous!”
2) Colors: In the Chinese culture, red, gold, orange, and green are considered to be lucky colors, especially during the holiday season. Working the right colors into your Chinese New Year gifts can be a simple yet appreciated acknowledgement of its cultural beliefs, whether it is part of the gift itself or its wrapping.
3) Numbers: During the holiday, you’ll often see things grouped together or given out in even numbers. That is because even numbers are considered to bring “harmony and balance” more than odd numbers. That’s why the money included in the red envelopes is always an even number and the number of compartments of a snack tray is usually six, eight or ten.
4) Gifts: There are many fun gifting ideas, and my favorite ones are: red envelopes for kids, a box of limited edition chocolate for Year of Monkey for co-workers, a red clutch with monkey decors for besties, some skincare goodies in red, gold, orange, or green colors for friends, tins of tea for parents, etc. I especially love those limited edition chocolate for the Year of Monkey, as the flavors represent a sweet start to the new year and are inspired by Asian tea flavors! Nonetheless, the act of giving during the Chinese New Year holidays is as much, if not more, about passing on good wishes and luck for the coming year as it is about the exchange of material goods or cash.
The followings are some of my ideas:Red Monkeys Clutch: Rebecca Minkoff (here) | Gold Heels: Acne Studios (here, here) Cleanse Treatment: GLAMGLOW (here, here, here) | Retinol Moisturizer: InstaNatural (here) | Lash & Brow Serum: RevivLash
Box of Chocolate: GODIVA (c/o, here) | Red Envelope: Here, Here | Clutch: Saint Laurent (here, here)
Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year!
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