Gift Giver

Gift-giving events celebrated around the world

By Lauren Christian - Apr 1st, 2023
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Celebration and gifting events occur around the world at all times of the year. While the major or more commercial gifting events are well known, amazing cultural events are happening all year round where life is celebrated and gifts of appreciation are exchanged.

We've pulled together a list of 6 celebratory events that occur around the world where it is common practice to give and receive gifts.

Carnival

Celebrated around the world, some of the most famous carnivals are held in Brazil, USA, and Italy.

Carnival is celebrated on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. For 2023, Carnival was celebrated from the 17th of February to the 25th of February.

A history of Carnival produced by riocarnival.org provides the context for the lavish celebration. "Carnival came from the word Carne Vale which translates to ‘Goodbye to Meat”. Since then, the term carnival was used to signal the start of a 40-day abstinence period known as Lent".

While the celebratory traditions vary by region, it is commonly well known for its celebration of life through colour, parades, costumes, music, dance, food, and gifts. The carnival festival generally involves the exchange of small gifts, beads, and other items during parades and other festive events.

Carnival festival celebrations

Diwali

Known as the Festival of Lights and celebrating the victory of light over darkness.

Diwali is "one of the major religious festivals in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism, lasting for five days from the 13th day of the dark half of the lunar month Ashvina to the second day of the light half of the lunar month Karttika (usually falling in late October and November)". Diwali's date is determined by the Indian calendar and changes every year and will occur between October and November.

Diwali is typically celebrated through wearing colourful traditional clothing, lighting the home with lamps and other lights, fireworks, worship services, feasts, and the exchange of gifts.

Diwali light decorations

Hanukkah

This Jewish holiday is also known as the Festival of Lights and involves giving small gifts over several days.

Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar(any time from late November to late December). In 2023 Hanukkah runs from Thursday, December 7th through to the evening of Friday, December 15th.

Hanukkah is celebrated with a mixture of traditions. The most important of all Hanukkah traditions is the lighting of the menorah each evening (also known as the Hanukkah lamp) and the daily reading of Scripture. There are also several nonreligious customs associated with Hanukkah, including festive meals, songs, games, and gifts to children.

Hanukkah candle and gifts

Lunar New Year

Also known as the Spring Festival as it is celebrated at the arrival of spring and the beginning of a new year on the lunar calendar.

This holiday is celebrated by many people around the world and is often marked by the exchange of gifts, particularly red envelopes filled with money.

"Legend states that the Lunar New Year stemmed from an ancient battle against the Nian (/nyen/, which sounds the same as 'year' in Chinese), a terrifying beast that showed up every Lunar New Year's Eve to eat people and livestock. To scare away the monster, people displayed red paper, burned bamboo, lit candles, and wore red clothes. These traditions have been continued until the present time."

There is no set date for Lunar New Year as it commences with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar 15 days later. In 2023, Luna New Year was celebrated from Sunday, January 22nd through to Sunday, February 5th.

According to the Chinese zodiac cycle, each year is associated with an animal sign. 2023 is the year of the Rabbit. The Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity.

A two-week celebration with family, friends, food, fireworks, parties, lion dances, parades, and gifts.

Lunar new year red envelope gift

White Day

A romantic holiday typically celebrated in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.

White Day is celebrated one month after Valentine's Day, on March 14th. White Day is a day for men to give gifts to women who gave them gifts on Valentine's Day. A day to reciprocate the gifting appreciation.

Traditionally, men were limited to giving white gifts, such as white chocolates, white flowers, or white accessories. But this is now a less common tradition and gifts come in all colours.

The establishment of the day dates to a sweet shop owner who came up with the idea that men would give women a white marshmallow gift in return for Valentine's Day favours. The day was originally named "Marshmallow Day" and later renamed "White Day" as it grew in popularity.

A collection of white flowers

Holi

This Hindu festival is known as the "festival of colours" and involves the exchange of gifts and sweets between friends and family.

Holi celebrations mark winter's end and celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Traditionally celebrating the welcoming spring and new beginnings.

"Holi Festival is celebrated on the last full moon day of the lunar month of (Phalguna), which is generally around the end of March. The exact date of Holi may vary from year to year".

Traditional Holi celebrations include throwing colourful powder called, eating sweets, traditional music, and bonfires. Holi is celebrated on the last full moon in the lunar month of Phalguna.

Holi festival colourful powder

Final Thoughts

Many gift-giving traditions around the world extend beyond the well-known commercial experience. Embrace the gifting culture and give your loved ones a gift of celebration and appreciation on one of these special days.

Let us help make the day extra special. Download the Perfect Gifting app now, connect with your loved ones, and give perfect gifts for any occasion.

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