View Full Version : Is there "toshi-dama" (New Year gift) in your country ?

Jan 3, 2004, 12:51
In Japan, parents, grand-parents or other relatives give a New Year monetary gift (from 500 to 10.000yen, depending on the child's age and the family's wealth and generosity ;) ), called o-toshi-dama お年玉.

Most of the Japanese I've discussed this with, think that it is a Japanese tradition. However, I know that this is common practice also at least in France and Belgium, though it is generally only the grand-parents and grand-uncles/aunts who give them. Contrarily to Japan, only children (up to teenagers, maybe) get the money. The same monetary gift (called etrennes or dringuelles in French) also exist for All Saints (1st November) and is given by the same people to the children only as well. The money is not usually in an envelope like in Japan though.

I was wondering how widespread was this practice in other countries. Do all Europeans do that ? What about Americans, Australians ? What about other Asians ? and the rest of the world ?

Please specify which country you are from and if the "toshi-dama" practice exist or is common in your country/family.

Jan 3, 2004, 17:06
Doesn't happen hear in England to my knowledge... did get a calendar though...

Jan 3, 2004, 17:28
Maybe that is because you are from a Jewish family (as you said in another post), which has different traditions from the mainstream.

I am not sure how old is the o-toshi-dama tradition is Japan, but I wouldn't be surprise if that came only after Meiji or after WWII. If anybody has info about that matter...

Jan 3, 2004, 17:43
That's a point lol... but being non-practising, we don't give anything at Ros Hasanah either...

Jan 4, 2004, 03:01
Never heard of it here in Germany (never got it anyway).

In China this is common practice though. At least for un-married girls, that is. When they are married no New-Year-money anymore.
I don't know the details (or what about boys), will ask my girlfriend later.

Jan 5, 2004, 02:50
the new year isnt as big a deal to most westerners i dont think

Jan 5, 2004, 11:23
Originally posted by Timsan
the new year isnt as big a deal to most westerners i dont think

Well, my opinion is that New Year was much more important than Xmas. In Belgium at least, Xmas is just a small family gathering that ends before midnight and does not rank high for presents, as there is St Nicholas (= Children's Day, exist also in Austria and other Catholic countries) on 6 December, which is when children get most of their presents (more than Xmas, birthday or any other time of the year).

New Year anyway is almost always an all-night party, either with the (extended) family or in nightclubs, preceded by a long dinner, supposed to be one of the best and longest of the year (usually last from about 6pm to 11pm, and restaurants have special 10-courses menus). We end with the onion soup around 11pm for the digestion. In contrast, Xmas consist of only one main dish (turkey, chicken, vol-au-vent, rostbeef, or whatever) and is a much quieter time than the New Year. There are often games, costumes, dances or fireworks at the New Year, but hardly anything more than a decorated tree and midnight mass for Chrsitmas.

That's interesting to hear about such differences in neighbouring countries. So how do you all celebrate Xmas and the New Year ? Which one is more important for you ? Let's continue this discussion here (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6235)

George L.
Jan 10, 2004, 04:56
I have never heard of any "giving of gifts" for New Years...most people are to broke from christmas presents to afford more gifts! :D If a gift is given in the US for New Years, then it is just cause the parents want to do something special for thier children and have the funding to do so, but there is no American tradition behind it...I think that it is a great idea how the Japanese do it, but unfortunetely we have nothing like that here. :(

Jan 10, 2004, 23:41
Finally remembered to ask my girlfriend:

All (boys too) get it until they are married, then not anymore. But personal gifts (not money) can always be given.

Mar 9, 2004, 17:22
swedish - nope, we spend all our cash new years eve on fireworks and booze.. then the next day on medical bills due to using fireworks and booze together...

Mar 11, 2004, 07:38
Im pretty sure in China, it is tradition for all the children to be given red envelopes with cash inside. To get your envelope you have to bow to your elder though and I think you have to say something to them.(can't remember what it was... O.o It's just probably 'thanks' heh) Im not sure if the whole bowing thing is tradition, or if my family's just weeird. XDD Lol..

I get one every New Years, and so does my brother. The elders pretty much give us the $. Like my father, uncles, and my grandparents. And yah I think the $ stops flowin once you get too old. ^^

Eternal Wind
Mar 14, 2004, 13:52
Asian,and yes,we do share new year gifts as a token of appreciation and blessings to the person.
And I can say that this is a tradition being passed down for generations and it is a very good culture for learning :cool:

Mar 15, 2004, 22:04
yeah there was something like that when i was little, my great-grandma would give the whole family little things at new years, and bake money cake. it was always fun going to visit, plus lotsa good food.

Eternal Wind
Mar 16, 2004, 03:53
Yah,and you can get to see lots a ppl and relatives and it is good for gathering everyone once a year in this special day!! :cool:

Lina Inverse
Jul 16, 2004, 10:56
There never has been anything like that over here.
The only occassion where presents are given is shortly ago on evening of Dec 24 (Xmas eve), but that's it.

Jul 16, 2004, 15:19
We rarely give gifts on New Years.

Jul 16, 2004, 17:56
Nope im from the UK, and they is nothing of the sort in the UK, altho it would be cool if they was !

Jul 16, 2004, 18:50
Well...here in Portugal no... we just give each other boozes :cool:

Jul 29, 2004, 13:47
I don't think I know anybody who gives gifts on New Years. We mainly just meet up with our friends and hang out (and about 90% of the population gets drunk). Christmas is the huge gift giving occasion.

Jul 30, 2004, 10:32
well, i haven't been to Russia for a while now, but when i went there a couple of years back during christmas, my family got loaded with gifts from everyone that they ever knew (i know its a big things for employes to send gifts to bosses in companies). so, unless my family is something special i'm pretty sure it's a big thing

hehe, just realised i made a spelling mistake on my signature. :sorry: :relief:

Jul 30, 2004, 10:38
Here in America ever new years eve party i have been to when the ball finally drops on the count of zero you kiss someone nothing sexual just a friendly kiss. But i dont know if that is just exclusive to my parties though?

Jul 30, 2004, 21:48
hmm, my family celebrates two New Years, that's how important it is to us. :D

Aug 24, 2004, 04:47
Sadly, in the U.S. we don't give gifts at New Year's. However, we do celebrate quite a bit during that time!! But no gifts. Guess I need to move! :? :-)

Aug 24, 2004, 06:50
In Denmark, a New Year's gift is not a tradition. However, some few people give a New Year's Gift to their loved ones etc...I do.
Maybe the tradition is growing I don't know...
I have always got money presents from my mother, as she is Japanese...

cicatriz esp
Aug 24, 2004, 07:35
New Year's is really not much of a big deal in the US. All we do is get together and drink. Good for me, as i'm not fond of giving or receiving gifts. Xmas is by far the biggest holiday here.

Aug 24, 2004, 13:55
swedish - nope, we spend all our cash new years eve on fireworks and booze.. then the next day on medical bills due to using fireworks and booze together...

Norway- Fireworks'n booze ! Fireworks'n booze !! :happy: :yeahh:

Aug 24, 2004, 13:57
ummm in Australia we don't really hae one. It's more along the lines of flowers and alcohol. Though we tell foreigners that it's vegemite and then we tell them the myth of drop bears

Aug 25, 2004, 06:51
Norway- Fireworks'n booze ! Fireworks'n booze !! :happy: :yeahh:

In Denmark, it also fireworks and booze!
This excessive combination must be a Scandinavian thing!!:-)

Sep 4, 2004, 20:26
Yeah! It's an unbeatable combination of consuming toxins and excessive use of explosives :D
good times.. good times :-)

Nov 28, 2004, 00:23
well at my place new gifts can be anything but i dont think we get money unless its chinese new year *waits for chinese new year*

Jan 10, 2005, 06:56
No gifts on New Year, only at Christmas' Eve (juzt like in Germany). At last one thing in common. :P

Jul 14, 2005, 14:37
Looking at the business etiquette for Hong Kong in the Economist (http://www.economist.com/cities/Displayobject.cfm?obj_id=1624573), I found out that the Chinese also have the o-toshi-dama tradition, which they call Lai See.

Jul 14, 2005, 19:04
I am in the UK. We don't give gifts. We usually have a fancy dinner with lots of wine, then fireworks and champagne on the stroke of midnight, and we all join hands and sing 'Auld Langs Syne'. An interesting tradition we do have is 'first footing'. A dark-haired person, preferably a male stranger (although my Dad does it in our family) has to walk through the house with a piece of coal and some bread, out the front door, round the outside then in the back door. I think they are supposed to bring good luck to the house, I'm not really sure!

Aug 3, 2008, 01:31
In my country (Finland) we don`t give new year gifts.

Oct 1, 2008, 18:35
"I am European : No"