Feng shui

Feng Shui Gifts Taboos

Gifts You Should Never Give Based On Feng Shui

Feng Shui is the art of viewing life in a balanced way, which means that you should give gifts to those people who you think can benefit from them the most. In fact, giving gifts has even become a part of Chinese culture. However, there are limits as to what these gifts can mean and how to use them in your own life. In some cases, they can symbolize bad luck so it would be wise to hold off on giving such gifts. On the other hand, certain gifts can bring good fortune to you as well as others so you should always know which gift will come in the most beneficial form.


Shoes are forbidden as a gift, as it is pronounced (鞋 Xie), which has the same pronunciation as evil  (邪). Giving shoes as a gift is like sending an evil spirit or casting a curse on that person. Furthermore, it is believed that it will cause a relationship to go separate ways. This gift is a real taboo for dating couples, in some cultures which actually means “Get Lost”. Therefore, if a couples were to receive a pair of shoes as a gift, either one will initiate the breakup or the partner will leave for someone else eventually. However, this does not apply to giving shoes as gifts to your close family members.


In the Chinese-speaking environment, timepiece gifts are considered ominous and “to gift someone a clock” sounds like “Song Zhong” which literally means “to prepare funeral rites” because both “end” and “clock” are pronounced “zhōng.”

You can witness this on those corrupted officials that received it as bribery suffered dreadful consequences after owning them.


Never, ever gift your friends with umbrellas — in Chinese “san,” which sounds the same as “separation” or “departure” (散). Giving an umbrella as a gift symbolised the end of a relationship. Another reason is that an umbrella is often used in some spiritual rituals associated with spirits, so it is considered inauspicious to give it as a gift.


If you are sending a fruit basket as a gift especially visiting a hospitalised friend, do take note to leave out the Pears. In Chinese, the word Pear (梨 Li) has the same pronunciation as leaving or departure (离). You don’t want to send the wrong message to him/her and that could be really awkward. Sharing a pear is also a big “No”, “No”. That is why you will never see any Chinese couples sharing a pear which literally means separation.


This is definitely a big taboo if you are giving to someone that you love. Knife and Scissors are used for cutting, they symbolize cutting off ties and relationships.  If you happened to receive one as a gift, hand over a coin to the giver to symbolize that you bought the object, and restore the bond between you.


Nowadays candles come with beautiful and creative designs, even with fantastic fragrances. You might think it is romantic and nice to add a little touch to the ambience, hence candles seem to be a good choice as a gift. But, in the Eastern, candles are normally used in prayer, thus, giving candles as a gift is seen as inauspicious especially the white which is used in funeral rituals.

Unknown Gems Or Antiques

Some old gems (or stones) and antiques can be quite precious and valuable, but you never knew about their history. Antiques and old gems are known to attract spirit and there might be one that is resided within. If you happened to receive one, make sure proper cleansing is being carried out before keeping them.

Final Thoughts

In the event that you are giving any of the above as a gift in the Chinese Culture world, ask the recipient to pay you back a coin as if they had purchased it instead. By doing so, it will break the curse.

There are many more forms of Feng Shui gifts you should never give, but these are the ones that seem to fit the most situations. Keep in mind, though, that Feng Shui is not just about determining what items will attract good fortune or what will repel bad luck. It also has much to do with the attitude you take toward life itself, as well as other people. So, do take note of these when you are preparing a gift for your Chinese counterparts!

Related Articles

Check Also
Back to top button