Moving to a new house is quite a significant event in traditional Chinese culture. so much so that there are certain specific rituals that many people still practice today as a sign of respect and homage to the culture.
some of the rituals and practices associated with moving into a new home include housewarming, cleaning the space, moving day, etc.
Reading: Feng shui housewarming gift
In modern times, the fusion of various cultures has made housewarming parties a common practice. the origin of the opening parties cannot be specified. but it makes so much intuitive sense that it has become an adopted practice in social culture around the world.
In the past, when modern heating technology was unavailable, a housewarming party literally meant gathering friends and family in a new home and burning wood to heat the house. this was believed to remove the cold from a dwelling and create a warm home for new occupants.
guests at such events often do not come empty handed and bring good luck gifts to congratulate the new residents of the celebration event.
And with Chinese culture, there are always gifts that can be very appropriate and subtly communicate all the right things.
here are some gift ideas that can help you select an appropriate gift.
People don’t always realize the huge impact paints have on the aesthetics of home interiors.
bare walls are boring, empty and can even be “cold”. just walk into an art gallery and you’ll find that paintings are lined up on bare, empty walls… making the whole area look elegant and refined. now imagine the space without the art on display and you will imagine dull walls without life.
paintings make great housewarming gifts. and the best Chinese good luck paintings totally appropriate for a housewarming have to be those of mountain scenery and/or calligraphy.
There’s nothing like a picturesque piece of landscape art coupled with the wisdom of calligraphy. They can be placed in the living room or home office to ask for support and blessings.
2) bamboo plant
Too often we think of plants as great gifts for a residence. it brings freshness, life and a little more greenery to the interiors of the houses. but it’s also often avoided because some people just don’t like living with the hassle that comes with caring for them.
if you have somehow determined that a homeowner would accept plants in the residence, then a lucky bamboo pot is perfect.
They do not require much care, they have an auspicious symbolism and they embellish the interiors.
In terms of Chinese holidays, there is probably no other plant as recognizable as the bamboo plant. simply seeing it communicates that the giver means well and wishes blessings and wealth for the recipient.
3) golden bowl and chopsticks
If the host of the housewarming has a career in the civil service, the Golden Rice Bowl may be an appropriate gift as it signifies continued steady income with little fear of setbacks.
The accompanying meaning is also that your contribution at work is so important to society at large that it is “impossible” for a government not to recognize and appreciate it.
The gold bowl and pair of chopsticks can also sometimes be gifted to senior employees with high authority who have been serving an organization for a long time.
However, keep in mind that recipients of this gift may sometimes take it as sarcasm, bordering on offense. this is because those who are sensitive may see it as a way of saying you have a steady job and live in a bubble.
so this could be an item to avoid giving when you’re not sure how the recipient will perceive it.
4) fruit basket
Fruit baskets are a very safe gift that communicates longevity, health and vitality.
For young married couples moving to a new residence, fruit baskets filled with many-seeded fruits convey the meaning of offspring. so it is no wonder that their parents are very happy to receive these gifts, since they are eager to have grandchildren.
After all, a young couple moving into a new home usually means they’ll have more personal space for romance. leading to increased chances of conceiving.
Some fruits that are closely tied to fertility luck to put in these types of fruit baskets include pomegranates, melons, dates, etc. avoid pears as they are often considered taboo for gift giving.
5) symbol of wealth
There are many symbols of wealth that are frequently used as gifts on all sorts of auspicious occasions. any recipient would be happy to be blessed by the wealth of guests and visitors.
Some of these wealth items that may be appropriate for a housewarming include:
- gem tree
- trading ship (for business people)
- golden rooster
- vase of wealth
Just keep in mind that when in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution in case you send the wrong message to the recipient.
Instead of a vase of wealth as mentioned in the previous point, a normal oriental vase also has positive connotations for a new home.
This is because the Chinese word for vase is ping (瓶) and is a homonym for the word meaning peace and security.
A gift giver would be conveying a desire for harmony and security for the home. any homeowner would appreciate these things for the family.
the problem is that the vases are usually made of porcelain, glass or clay, which are very brittle materials. If they break during shipping or, heaven forbid, during the housewarming event, it can be a very bad omen. so you’ll want to avoid this article if you can’t guarantee it’s a safe step.
7) Chinese tea
If you want to be known as a class act, there is nothing better to communicate it than giving away high quality premium Chinese tea leaves.
can be quite expensive. And even if you have money to spare, it could be quite a challenge to find them.
For someone who enjoys Chinese tea, this is a gift that can often be perceived at the highest order, or even priceless. and the giver will be fully appreciated for being so thoughtful in bringing such a gift.
Please note that if the recipient does not like tea, this may not be a good gift. don’t end up spending a fortune on tea leaves when the recipient can’t appreciate them. but tea lovers love to spread their enthusiasm for tea. so for them, this can be a very thoughtful gift.
Alternatively, a set of oriental teapots can also be very well received by tea lovers.
8) red packet
In modern times, red packets filled with money have become a staple gift that is suitable for all kinds of joyous and auspicious events.
They are also commonly and affectionately known as “ang pow” in the Hokkien dialect.
its widespread use can sometimes give the impression that it is a lazy giveaway. because one is lazy to go out looking for a gift, and that is why he resorts to the most inconsiderate. but you can always show how “considerate” you are by being generous 😀
always remember that the amount of money you deposit in the red envelopes must be an even number. and does not contain the number “4”. the number 4 sounds like the Mandarin word for “death.” so many people, especially those who are superstitious, may disapprove of red packets with this number. it’s like receiving a gift from death.
In addition to this, red envelopes are often intended for the elderly to be gifted to the younger generation. or from a higher authority to a lower one.
This means you should only gift it to someone of similar or lower status. giving it to your boss, for example, can be greeted with wide eyes and an awkward silence.