Lunar New Year Gift Ideas 2024

Lunar New Year is about welcoming friends and family into your home to offer each other blessings of good fortune, happiness, and love.

Take a look at our gift guide to learn how to choose a gift that symbolises prosperity and luck for the coming year.


When is Lunar New Year 2024?

Lunar New Year falls on a different date every year. This year, Lunar New Year is on 10 February. Each year is often associated with a different animal from the zodiac — 2024 is the year of the dragon.

Celebrations last for 15 or 16 days, culminating with a lantern festival on the final 4 days. The first seven days of Lunar New Year are a public holiday. Businesses and schools are closed, and people return to their hometowns to spend time with family.

The Lunar New Year is a time of luck and fortune, and celebrations are noisy and colourful.

Which countries celebrate Lunar New Year?

Lunar New Year is the most important holiday important holiday in China, and many other Asian countries such as Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, and Indonesia celebrate Lunar New Year too.

Sometimes also known as Spring Festival or Chinese New Year, over 20% of the world celebrate Lunar New Year.


Man and child painting Chinese red envelopes


Chinese New Year Red Envelope

Probably the most recognisable of all the traditional Lunar New Year gifts is the Chinese New Year red envelope.

Whether you call them red pockets, red packets, or red envelopes, people believe these traditional Lunar New Year gifts give happiness and blessings to the receivers — and not just because of the money inside!

Traditionally there are two types of red envelope. One type is for young children — to wish them good fortune and blessings for the coming year. The other is for the older generation giving blessings of longevity and gratitude.

These days, people give red envelopes to practically anyone to transfer a bit of luck.

How do you make a red envelope for Chinese New Year?

You can make your own red packets to celebrate Chinese New Year. We love this Easy Red Envelope Origami YouTube to show you how.

What are the rules for red envelopes in China?

You exchange your red envelopes during the New Year’s visit.

Traditionally, the grandparents will sit at the back of the room whilst all their children and grandchildren perform three kowtows. This is the ultimate show of respect. To perform a kowtow, you must kneel and place your hands on the floor in front of you. You then bend and rest your head between your hands.

Once this is done, you present your red envelopes. Always present and receive your red envelopes with two hands — and never open them in the presence of the present giver!

You should only put crisp, new bank notes (and no coins) inside red envelopes. Putting dirty notes inside a red envelope is bad luck.

Think of unlucky numbers when deciding how much to put inside your red envelopes — avoid the number 4 and try to give even amounts rather than odd. If you want to enhance your luck, give an amount that starts or ends in the number 8.

What is written on Chinese red envelopes?

Red envelopes are usually decorated with beautiful Chinese calligraphy and symbols.

To get into the spirit of the festival you could decorate yours with characters meaning ‘good luck and blessings’, ‘happiness and prosperity’, or ‘happy New Year’.


Chinese lanterns in the sky


Lunar New Year Gifts

Gifts are exchanged during Chinese New Year to wish friends and family good fortune and prosperity for the coming year.

It’s important to follow the traditions and etiquette surrounding your Lunar New Year gifts.

What not to send for Chinese New Year

There are some important dos and don’ts to note when it comes to Lunar New Year gifting:

Unlucky numbers

Numbers are very important in Asian tradition. For example, the number ‘four’ is considered unlucky because it sounds very like the Chinese word for ‘death’.

If you’re going to incorporate numbers into your Lunar New Year Gifts, then make it an eight. The luckiest number in Chinese culture, it means, ‘wealth’, ‘fortune’, and ‘prosper’ in the language. If you want to make it even luckier, go for 88 – which means ‘double happiness.’ That’s pretty cool.

Unlucky colours

Colours symbolising wealth and prosperity are very lucky at this time of year. Choose gifts in tones of red, gold, or yellow to follow the traditions.

You’ll want to avoid black, white, or blue as these colours are associated with death and misfortune and are unlucky at this time of year.

Unlucky gifts

As well as anything black and white (or blue), you should avoid giving clocks, watches, and sharp items as gifts during Lunar New Year.


Lunar New Year Gift Ideas

Giving gifts is a great way to wish friends and loved ones a year filled with prosperity and good fortune. Wondering what to gift for Chinese New Year? Here are a few we love:

Little First Stickers: Chinese New Year

£5.99, Fox Lane Books

Let little ones recreate the magic of Lunar New Year with this fun sticker book.

Auspicious Dragon

£69.99, Lego

A super-cool set for Lego fans of all ages, this mythical dragon model will bring luck all year round.

Lunar New Year Dragon Decorations

£8.00, Etsy

These heart-shaped baubles are decorated with fun Chinese dragons in the luckiest of Lunar New Year colours.

Dragon Plush Doll

£6.10, Amazon

So cute! This Chinese Dragon soft toy is a perfect way to wish friends and family happiness for the New Year.


How to send a parcel to China

It’s easy to send a parcel to China with Parcel2Go. When you book with us, we’ll help you find the cheapest way to send a parcel to China. With Parcel2Go, postage starts at just £9.70 and includes free parcel tracking every step of the way.

Read our guide to find out all you need to know about how to ship to China.

When you’re ready to send your gifts, our blog on how to send a parcel will give you loads of top tips on how to check for prohibited items, how to pack your box to make sure your gifts arrive perfectly, how to weigh and measure your parcel, and how to get a quote.


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