Wish List

The 4 Best Gifts for Chinese New Year 2021

July 27, 2021

Did you know that just over 2 billion people globally celebrate Chinese New Year? That means that about a quarter of the entire world’s population is gearing up for the Spring Festival each year. 

While New Year’s Eve in most cultures is on December 31st each year, Chinese New Year is a whole different event full of rich traditions, cultural myths, and meaningful gifts. This year, the date for Chinese New Year 2021 falls on Wednesday, February 12th, with the celebration lasting up to 16 days. 

While most citizens from western countries can’t fathom a celebration that lasts that long it’s an important part of the holiday in which there is time to process old events, welcome in new opportunities, and share gifts with loved ones. Not sure what to get someone for Chinese New Year 2021? Here are four great picks.

What to Know About Chinese New Year Gifts

It’s important to note that gifts given as part of the Chinese New Year should help define your wishes for the person who will receive the gift. The goal is to wish good fortune and prosperity for the upcoming year. This means that you’ll need to pay special attention to the colors, numbers, and words included in the gifts as they play an essential role in the cultural significance of Chinese New Year.

4 Great Gifts for Chinese New Year 2021

While you can give the standard gifts, it’s also a great idea to dig deeper into the culture and history to find unique ways to foster a sense of prosperity and fortune through somewhat personalized gifts. We’ll give you a few options for each type of gift.

Red Envelopes

Popularly known as lucky money or New Year’s money, this is a red envelope that contains money. The color red is essential here as it signifies wealth and prosperity. However, the story behind the red envelopes is more intriguing and dates back to the Han Dynasty.

The origin of this traditional gift comes from a legend where a demon called Sui would go and pat a child’s head while sleeping during the Chinese New Year. So, to protect their children, parents stayed up the whole night to guard them.  

One of these worried parents gave their child a coin to distract it, and when they fell asleep, the coin remained next to the pillow. So, when Sui reached for the child, the coin shined in the darkness and scared the demon away. The idea is that by giving money to children, older family members are helping protect younger family members and “blessing” them with a year of good fortune.


We know this might sound a bit weird, but tobacco is a part of Chinese New Year traditions. In fact, a survey from China Youth Daily in recent years found that tobacco and alcohol are the most popular choices for Chinese New Year gifts, with nearly 67% of those polled saying they’d buy those gifts for their parents.

If you’re going to give the gift of tobacco to someone, however, we recommend sticking with full cartons of cigarettes as this is more standard. A pack of cigarettes alone might seem disrespectful or odd. Exchanging a whole carton is seen as a sign of wealth and success.

Suppose you’re looking to find Chinese New Year-specific cartons. In that case, we suggest visiting your local Asian market or seeing if you can find Davidoff cigars online that are available for importation (depending on where you live). If you opt for the first option, be sure to check out our offers page, where you’re eligible to receive discounts via shopping partners and select Asian grocers through Cheese.


Wine is a part of practically any international celebration, but it’s actually a pretty big part of Chinese New Year, too, as it’s typically offered to the ancestors and gods during official ceremonies. For example, you must drink with your new in-laws during a wedding. And you must have alcohol during holidays (fine with us!).

When selecting the best wine for Chinese New Year, we suggest selecting the wine based on the relevant festival that will be occurring. According to tradition, you should consume sweet sedge wine during the Dragon Boat Festival, chrysanthemum wine during the Double Nine Festival, and niánjiǔ during the Spring Festival.

For the best selection of global wines, head over to Wine.com to see what they’re offering. However, before you do, visit our offers section. There, you can receive 4% cashback when shopping on Wine.com.

Candies & Chocolate

If you’re not sure what to give a child for the Chinese New Year, candies are always a safe bet. Looking to stick to tradition? You can purchase or even make some of the best Chinese New Year desserts for the youngsters. This includes:

  • Sugar rings
  • Fried dough twists
  • Steamed sponge cake
  • Eight-treasure rice pudding

If you don’t feel as confident in the kitchen, it’s just as acceptable to gift regular sweets that the child (or anybody for that matter) will love. Gifting chocolate is absolutely acceptable for even your boyfriend, girlfriend, or family members. 

To enhance the effect of the gift, however, be sure to be mindful of the colors that you’re wrapping everything in. Red is the recommended color for everything, from envelopes to clothing. Yellow and gold are also good options because they symbolize prosperity and wealth.

Where to Get Asian Snacks & Food for Chinese New Year

Besides gifts, you’ll also need to consider purchasing food for the festivals and events if you’ll celebrate them with friends and family. If you’re planning ahead, check out our offers page, where you can get cashback just by shopping with your Cheese Debit Card.

Here’s a list of the cashback deals we offer at online and local markets:

  • Weee! = 3%
  • Yamibuy = 3%
  • 99 Ranch Market = 2%
  • H-Mart = 2%
  • Mitsuwa = 2%

And, for those interested in Asian food delivery, try:

  • Chowbus = 2% 
  • Fatuan = 2%
  • Hungry Panda = 2%

Don’t have a Cheese Debit Card yet? Sign up for our waitlist here!

Cheese 银行卡 美国华人最好的选择
Cheese 银行卡 美国华人最好的选择