Welcome back trivia lovers. If you have been playing along you will know that last week I asked, “Where in the world is it considered unlucky to give a clock as a gift?” If you answered China then you would be right on the money! Let’s learn a little more about this unlucky superstition.
Clocks as gifts are a definite no-no in China. Many traditions, especially those surrounding gift giving, are based on rituals and superstitions. The Chinese word for clock is so similar to the word for death that it is seen as bad luck. It is considered one of the biggest taboos in China. When giving gifts in China it is especially important to be aware of the many rituals surrounding the practice. Red gift wrap is the most popular color because red signifies luck, while blue is a mourning color. You will not find gift wrap in white, grey or black because they are unlucky hues.
When giving a gift the gift must be given and received with two hands for luck. It should always be given in private, to do so in front of a group is rude. In China a gift must be refused 3 times before it is accepted. Other no-nos on the gift list are handkerchiefs and anything in sets of fours. On the other hand gifts given in sets of two are considered good luck. If you are looking to give a gift while on business, focus on the set of two rule and give a gift from your native country, it is considered a great honor.
Now for those of us reading this outside of China these gift giving traditions may seem strange, and although that may be true to us Westerners, I decided to do a little digging for traditions that no one outside of the U.S. understands. Follow this link to see weird traditions that us Americans think are totally normal that people around the world find as odd as a clock being bad luck. http://www.liberalamerica.org/2014/05/12/weird-things-about-americans/
This Week’s Travel Trivia, “Where is the Usuki Bamboo Lantern Festival held?”
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