The act of giving gifts is celebrated worldwide. No matter what festival, one thing in common is the deed of gifting loved ones with presents. It is used as a way to celebrate occasions, and express one’s love for another. From family traditions to partners exchanging gifts, this act has found itself a home even amidst workspaces between colleagues and fellow associates. The beauty of expressing how much people mean to each other through thoughtful, caring, and mindful gifts is a reflection of the precious human spirit - and how such endearing communication of love can strengthen relationships.
The trend of gift-giving has not emerged just recently but has been in practice for generations now. Rumoured to begin through the traditions of ancient Egyptians, it has been passed down for a while now. Pharaohs were adorned with gifts on their coronation, which was like their day of birth - transforming into a God or Goddess. Often with valuable goods like gold jewellery, crops, and flowers, these were a way to please and ask for blessings.
This tradition was then adopted by the ancient Greeks, where official birthdays were celebrated. They believed that evil spirits haunt a person on their birthday, and thus, would celebrate with positive attitudes and gifts to protect and block the spirits. This has now carried onto a worldwide norm of showering people with gifts on their birthday, as a medium to articulate their appreciation for that person.
Today, gift-giving is practised for even the tiniest of occasions. From birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and new years, it has become a social norm and a cherished way to present love. With different traditions all across the globe, every culture has adopted the act of gift-giving into their own, creating personalised and specific customs to honour when gifting. Take a look at how different countries celebrate with \ a twist in their own culture.
An auspicious festival of lights, Diwali is celebrated in India once a year and with utmost energy and positivity. Marking a new beginning with the triumph of good over evil, Diwali is often famed with innumerable gifts. Families get together and exchange gifts, with the significant one being a box of Indian sweets.
These sweets are also served to God, as a way of asking for blessings. The exchange of sweets is a regular custom and is practised between family, friends, and neighbours as well. Not only this, but most employees are also gifted with sweets and a Diwali bonus in the form of money, including security guards and housekeepers too.
The biggest festival in China, the new year is like no other. Unlike the conventional American new year where one day is celebrated, China keeps the festival going for almost two weeks. During the new year, the country is painted red. From red gift wrapping paper to red envelopes of money, the Chinese embrace the vibrancy of the shades of red. Connoting wealth and prosperity, the colour is present in almost every decor possible.
Fresh fruit is a popular choice of gift during the Chinese new year. However simple, fresh fruit symbolises the start of a new beginning and is often also used as temple offerings. Although gift-giving is prevalent in the Chinese culture, various businesses have banned the tradition among workplaces as it can be interpreted as an act of bribery. Nevertheless, a red envelope with gold Chinese writing in calligraphy is a standard and trademark gift found during the New Year.
Known for this hospitality and kind nature, Arabs practice gift-giving all year round, regardless of the presence of an occasion. During special festivals like Eid, neighbours, friends, and families send each other meat as gifts. They also send cooked home food, as a token of their effort into the relationship.
They also believe in always having a gift in hand, whether it is welcoming a new neighbour or merely visiting one’s home. Often, dates are harvested and presented as gifts, Whether it’s from a personal farm or store-bought, dates are always a go-to gift option, signifying the Prophets word in Islam.
The well known holiday season includes Christmas - painting the picture of a winter wonderland full of snow, presents, and hot chocolate, to name a few. A meaningful and essential part of Christmas is gift-giving, and often includes people making wish-lists for their presents.
To Christians, gift-giving is symbolic and in parallel with the gift of baby Jesus during Christmas. A fun twist for children, the character of Santa Claus is introduced. The tale includes him coming down a chimney at midnight to leave presents under the Christmas tree, all the way from the North pole. This tale has involved various other characters like elves and reindeers, all in the Christmas spirit and cheer.
With gifts being an integral part of the celebration all over the world and the countless ways it’s carried out in different countries, the initial intention of spreading joy and love remains the same throughout. This year, we introduce our holiday-inspired collection in the spirit of gift-giving. Shop effortless looks that make for perfect gifts this festive season here.