Should I bring something to CNY dinner?

A friend’s family invited me to CNY dinner. Should I bring something? Wine, flowers, dessert, red envelopes? Help.

Red envelopes with smaller amounts to the kids would suffice.

In most parts of the non-muslim world, a bottle of wine is usually also welcomed.

Normal gifts would be a bottle of ‘prestige label’ piss for the bloke of the house (Johnnie Walker, XO sort of stuff), and one of those big red boxes full of chicken stock, or snacks or whatever that are on display in the front of 7-11s and supermarkets at the moment for the woman (doesn’t really matter what’s inside - it’s the pretty packaging that counts). If there’s youg kids in the family, you might want to give them some red envelopes with maybe 200 or 600NT in each), but this would proabably be a surprise.


You should bring red packet for the children…the parents will insist that you don’t have to give the kids anything, but you must also keep insisting that you really think the kids deserve it and try REALLY REALLY hard to give it to them…the harder you try, the more they will like you! Also bring a box of those fruits you see selling at Welcome…buy a nice box…not a crappy box…usually, if you get invited to a Chinese New Years dinner with a Chinese family, it is quite a big thing…they are basically welcoming you into their family to celebrate THE holiday of the year with them…it is quite an honour I guess…

In terms of wine, from my understanding, these fruit wines are kinda looked upon as sissy by most Taiwanese ppl…you see, alcohol isn’t really downed by Taiwanese for enjoyment, but more to show that one is manly and can “hold his liquor”…if you brought some wine to their house, when you leave, they will usually bad mouth you behind your back and say, “why do these damn foreigners drink this stuff…it tastes like juice”…they have more respect for cognac, whisky, vodka, and some of those “hard” liquors that go down like gasoline…but it really depends on the crowd you are hanging around with…

1/2 bag of potato chips will suffice :laughing:

Kaoliang, would be appropriate. Hong Bao’s for the tykes and a healthy appetite. Everyone drinks Johnny Walker here, I hate it try a single malt scotch like Glen Fiddich should impress the people. Give them a lot of “face” and everything will be golden.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for gambling :smiley: , I’ve lost 3 years out of 4 but this’ll be different. Hongies for sure. Take you digital camera too, pretend you’re interested :wink:

Somone said bring Gaoliang. Don’t. Some families will think ‘what do you take us for? Southern hicks?’. Bring some Johnnie Walker or something.


Wear a construction hat and bring a bottle of Whisbi, then they’ll know you mean business.

haha!! Don’t bring vodka or gaoliang or whisky. What if the family don’t drink strong liquor? But if you really like the idea of drinking what you will bring during the meal, then ask your friend if the parents drink first, if the parents are the householders. Remember the householders are always the ones you should please and bring gifts to!! Fruits will suffice. Food, desserts are normal gifts too. They won’t expect a foreigner to give red envelops to kids, so you don’t need to do it if you don’t want to. That should be ok. Or you can ask your friend what his/her parents like (to eat). Anyway don’t show up there with empty hands for a dinner invitation.

all great suggestion…

i would bring red envelopes, some gift packages (cookies, desserts, whatever), wine, maybe some food, or just bring yourself and let them enjoy your company!!

[quote=“Bu Lai En”]Somone said bring Gaoliang. Don’t. Some families will think ‘what do you take us for? Southern hicks?’. Bring some Johnnie Walker or something.


Well if you are not in the Greater Taipei area you would be considered a southern hick. However when living in the South of Taiwan I always was well received when I showed up with some of that “Taiwan wine”

Doesn’t matter. It goes in the glass case next to the TV, looks nice, and they’ve got something for when people come around etc. The thing about gifts in Taiwan, is that the contents don’t matter. It’s about status and appearance.


Because handing out red envelopes makes me feel as emotionless as a human ATM, I’m taking all sorts of goodies:

-a huge red box with miniature bottles of swallow’s nests for granny (200something NT at the Carrefour)

-biscuits and chocolates for the kid

-Belgian chocolates for the sister-in-law

-red bean cakes (expensive stuff from the Grand Hotel) for just about everyone else.

I don’t care if they prefer envelopes, they know I’m the odd foreigner in the family so they expect me to behave in such a weird way :wink:

Thanks all for the great advice. I brought fruit in a cute red bag and we ate it for dessert. Xin Nian Kuai Le.

Well, I would never bring liquor to my inlaws, as they don’t drink and hide it away - for several years.

I brought hongbaos for my two girls, one too for granny, and lend them my small kerosene stove, which made granpa very happy and arose considerable interest in the whole alley.