15 Chinese New Year–Inspired Gifts That Just Might Bring Luck

We all thought it would be so easy for 2021. All it had to do was be just a tad less of a mess than 2020, but one month in and it’s looking bleak. Cue a new, New Year! February 15 heralds the beginning of the new lunar calendar and Chinese New Year. There may not be parades and street parties in Chinatowns the world-round this year, but the longtime traditions of luck are something we could all use a little bit of.

Just look at the 2019 Chinese New Year celebration shown in the first episode of Netflix’s Bling Empire. Christine and Gabriel Chiu take over Rodeo Drive for an all-out party. It’s an ornate, gilded affair complete with dragon dances, a plethora of strung lanterns, and the holiday’s hallmark red. Each year—as Singaporean investor (and cast member) Kane Lim explains—there’s a lot of gifting involved: “In the Chinese New Year you wake up with money!” Lim refers to the money-stuffed red envelopes gifted to children (and unmarried adults), stemming from the tradition of using coins to ward off evil spirits. (The Chius, to their credit, sponsored 130 orphaned children in China—one per party guest).

We might not all be on the level of the Chius, but we’ve put together an edit of traditional red, gold, and oxen (it is the year of the Ox after all!) to give and receive this Chinese New Year. May luck be with us all.

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