Approriate visiting gift for CNY

What’s the appropriate gifts to bring along for travellers while visiting Taiwanese homes during the CNY.

Big boxes with wasteful packaging, around a predominantly red theme. That’s the important part.

Contents appear to be optional, but typically it’ll be things like fruit, or perhaps booze: usually some kind of food or drink. If you go to any convenience store or supermarket or department store right now you’ll see walls full of boxed items designed for this purpose.

When you say “for travellers”, do you mean you’re coming from overseas? The over-priced but nicely packaged stuff at airports can be good for this. When Taiwanese travel, they often bring back lots of packaged snacks and “local delicacies” for people back home: I’ve brought a ridiculous amount of maple syrup and smoked salmon back from Canada over the years, for example.

If you’re travelling around Taiwan and visiting a bunch of homes, to be honest I’d recommend just getting to each area a bit early and then picking something up at a nearby 7-11 or supermarket or fruit stand. The main point is a face-gaining box, and you do NOT want to carry a bunch of those around on your travels.

Clocks are absolutely out (bad luck), but I’d be surprised if you were considering a clock anyway.

Go to City Super, Mitsukoshi or Jason’s. they will have fancy baskets of fruits, imported wine, depending on the family even cheese, foreign crackers, etc. People will act mortified you bothered but it is customary. Better avoid wine.

If you have anything special from your own country -like in my case, coffee and chocolate covered preserved fruits- those may go well, too.

ps. remember the special taboos regarding gifts, no umbrellas, clocks, etc.
prepare red envelopoed for the children like 200nts, 600nts, etc. depending on how close you are -avoid 400nts and any 4 something combinations.

Hi lostinasia,

yes we are overseas travellers travelling (light) to various places throughout Taiwan visiting a bunch of Taiwanese Homes during the CNY.

yes your suggestion of picking up fruits from 7-11 stores near the homes we are visiting is definitely a marvelous idea. What kinds of fruits is most appropriate. In many parts of SE Asia Mandarin oranges (signify gold, prosperity) are preferred together with packs of groundnuts for longlife. Is it the same for Taiwanese?

Hi Icon,

We are coming into Taiwan with flight hand-luggage backpack and avoid packing more weight than allowed. Henceforth 7-11 stores near homes we are visiting is a marvellous idea from lostinasia.

your suggestion of preserved fruits ideal because of they are normally packed in small packages. I suppose the preserved fruits must be sweet rather than sour or bitter.

Thanks Icon