345 Gift

Do you like to receive gifts? Or do you prefer to give gifts and watch the reaction of the person who is receiving them? Josh and ShaoLan talk about gift giving and receiving in Chinese and the whole culture that surrounds this phenomenon. In fact, gift-giving can be quite complicated, especially when it comes to the “red envelope” tradition, which involves putting money in a red envelope and giving it to someone to congratulate them on a major life event, such as getting married, having a baby etc. The amount of money that you should put inside varies according to many factors, which ShaoLan explains.

She also goes on to describe some popular gifts that are given at particular festivals, such as “moon cakes” at the mid-autumn festival, or rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves at the “dragon boat festival” and finally gives some pointers on how to receive gifts from Chinese friends in a polite way!

 The way to say “gift” in Chinese is 禮物/礼物. The first character 禮/礼 means “good manners” and  means “physical object,” so the “object that is well mannered” is a “gift”, 禮物/礼物. To give a gift you say “送禮物/送礼物” and to receive a gift you say “收禮物/收礼物.

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禮物 / 礼物
lǐ wù
Gift, manners
禮 / 礼
Courtesy, manners
禮貌 / 礼貌
lǐ mào
Red envelope
紅包 / 红包
hóng bāo
To give the gift
送禮物 or 送禮 / 送礼物 or 送礼
sòng lǐ wù or sòng lǐ
To give
To receive a gift
收禮物 or 收禮 / 收礼物 or 收礼
shōu lǐ wù or shōu lǐ
To open a gift
拆禮物 / 拆礼物
chāi lǐ wù
To open up
Birthday present
生日禮物 / 生日礼物
shēng rì lǐ wù
Christmas present
聖誕禮物 / 圣诞礼物
shèng dàn lǐ wù
Wedding present
結婚禮物 / 结婚礼物
jié hūn lǐ wù

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