We must admit giving gifts is becoming more and more difficult. You have to be original, careful not to give the same present as someone else, make sure your gift fits and suits the person you are giving it to. Even though you might have a lot of ideas now, but just wait, in a few days you will be tempted to give away one of those holiday candles you have stocked up from last year. To make the exhausting process of choosing gifts a bit easier, we have assembled this list of gift-giving traditions all over the world. Who knows, maybe it will give you some inspiration and a couple of ideas!
A present is a big deal in Japan. People usually give gifts before and after New Year’s. One of the most important rules – gifts shouldn’t be too expensive. Japanese are very particular: the presents should be equal in price, and giving an expensive gift will lead to confusion. It’s a common practice to give each other darumas, traditional wooden dolls. You draw an eye on daruma and make a wish. If the wish comes true, you draw the second eye, if not – well, then the doll is set on fire.
Chinese love giving each other red stuff. The color red is thought to be a symbol of wealth and prosperity. However, little souvenirs are also gratefully accepted. As a sign that the gift was received, the recipient should immediately put it in use. Attention! Never make somebody a present of a watch or a clock in China, because the passage of time is associated with death. In Chinese, the words ‘watch’ and ‘funeral’ are similar in sound. Here’s one more wordplay: the words ‘four’ and ‘death’ sound the same in Chinese! That’s why it’s a mauvais ton to give a set of 4 items.
In the US it’s okay to give an expensive gift. But the gift is sometimes given with the receipt, so that the receiver could return it in case they didn’t like it. That is the reason for the long lines in stores post New Year’s – people are just returning some of their presents. So, if you want to avoid this, you can give a gift card: the person will be able to buy the things they really want and everybody will be happy!
In the UK people usually give pretty traditional gifts: souvenirs, dishes and candles. It’s not common to make big and extravagant presents on New Year’s, it is not nearly as important as Christmas. Sometimes gifts are distributed at random: you never know what you’ll get.
People in Ireland believe that presents are only for children and grown-ups don’t really need them. During New Year’s, children get figurines of angels or saints. But there are still some pleasant things for grown-ups. Those who were helping the family during the year, receive money. And the Irish always bring homemade food and alcohol if they are visiting someone’s house.
So, there you have it – New Year’s traditions in different countries all over the world. If you still have no idea what to give that special someone who has everything, here’s our best and final shot: go to our Holiday Sale website and choose useful mobile gifts from the list. Let 2017 be happy, prolific and joyful!