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For January, 2010

Have you ever wondered the significance of the octagonal shaped candy box that you see during every house visit for Chinese New Year?

Well, the candy tray that is arranged in either a circle or octagon is called “The Tray of Togetherness” and has a dazzling array of candy to start the New Year sweetly. After taking several pieces of candy from the tray, adults places a red envelope (lai see) on the centre compartment of the tray. Each item represents some kind of good fortune.

The following are the different kind of candies that should be included in the Ba Qua box;

* Candied melon – growth and good health

* Red melon seed – dyed red to symbolize joy,happiness, truth and sincerity

* Lychee nut - strong family relationships

* Cumquat – prosperity (gold)

* Coconut - togetherness

* Peanuts – long life

* Longnan – many good sons

* Lotus seed – many children

After reading the above, I believe most would understand the true significance of the well-known bagua plate that is being used by every Chinese family during Chinese New Year each year. At Qua, we bring you the most exquisite design of the different kinds of baqua plate we have. Get something special and significant for your loved ones today!
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My clients often ask me for new corporate gift ideas for Chinese New Year. Every year, they have been giving mandarin oranges which are pre-packed by less than presentable carton boxes / rattan baskets hampers. Once their business associates finish eating the mandarin oranges, the boxes are thrown away, and the gift got forgotten.

Having said that, mandarin oranges are the most popular and most abundant fruit during Chinese New Year, representing “golden luck” – so my clients are reluctant to discontinue this practice with their Chinese customers.

Our Chinese New Year gift idea is to package the mandarin oranges into a hamper using a lacquer product as a base. In that case, your recipient can still use the item as a fruit platter for the rest of the year.

A hamper full of mandarin oranges, with “6” and “8” which represents prosperity in the Chinese culture will be ideal. For example, the hamper should have 6, 8, 16, 18, 26, 28 etc number of oranges to ensure prosperity goes to the way of the recipient in the New Year.

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Click here to see more details of other Chinese New Year gift ideas

 So, what’s new in town?

Well, I am sure you have heard of it, Singapore’s very first Casinos at Resorts World and Marina Bay Sands!

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To celebrate a new chapter in Singapore’s history with the arrival of the integrated resorts, Qua is excited to introduce the “Casino Royale Collection” for your pleasure.  This one of a kind lacquerware collection features exquisite items handcrafted in designs inspired by the glitz and glamour of the casinos.

 Qua’s new “Casino Royale Collection”, drew inspiration from poker cards, dice, and casino games, and are appreciated by individuals / corporates or to project elegance into any home.

 One of my favourite pieces would be the candle holder which is designed in the shape of the Casino family; namely, Hearts, Spades, Diamond and Club.  Place them side by side on your dining or console table and lit them!  Wouldn’t they be so pretty and besides, this would also get you in the mood of the brand new opening of Singapore’s integrated resorts!

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Click here to view rest of Casino Collection

For the Chinese culture, Chinese New Year is traditionally the main season for gift exchange between business associates. This is the time when you thank your clients for their support throughout the year. Some tips during this season of gift giving are:

1) Colours
Gifts embedded with red, orange and gold are best as it symbolizes prosperity.

2) Number
“6” and “8” represents good fortune, and “4” represents death in the Chinese culture. Avoid “4”, and have things in “6” or “8”

3) Symbolism
Giving gifts with good symbolism such as Chinese new year greetings, and representation of a new beginning, will bring smiles to your receipients.

We have several gift ideas for you, including hampers, octagonal boxes with all the cny goodies.

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Click here for other Chinese New Year corporate gift ideas

Chinese New Year is just around the corner yet again! There are plenty of auspicious items that need to be present during this special period of the year, such as, the commonly seen “Fu” sign that is always hung upside down, ba gua tray which is the octagonal box used to place candies and much more.

But, have you ever wondered the significance of these commonly seen decorations used during Chinese New Year?

Fu, Lu and Shou, Three Stars of Blessings, Prosperity and Longevity
Fu, Lu, and Shou are three “gods” that can also be called the “Three Stars.” Separately, they may be called Fu Xing, Lu Xing, and Shou Xing. Just in case you have no idea what does “xing” means, it means “star”. The three gods are legendary stars of blessings, prosperity, and longevity and they have been popular among people for centuries. This clearly shows the traditional culture of the Chinese people who long for happiness, prosperity, and longevity.

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So have you ever wondered why does the character “Fu” has to be hung upside down? First of all, the character fu means good fortune, blessings, happiness. It means simply “being happy”. The character is displayed on doors during Chinese New Year and is often placed upside-down, as “turn upside-down” in Chinese means to say “luck upside-down” which sounds like “luck is coming”!

I decided to design a set of lacquered coasters that has these 3 Auspicious Blessing Stars carved beautifully onto them. That’s not all! Each of these coasters is inlaid with mother-of-pearl which makes it stand out from any other coasters that you find! Get yours at Qua now!

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Qua’s Fu, Lu, Shou Coasters

The origins of the 12 animals in the cycle derive from a legend about Buddha who invited all the animals to join him for New Year’s Day. Only 12 animals turn up, and Buddha rewarded them by naming a year for each one in order of their arrival. This was rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

The Chinese Horoscope is also used to provide information about a person’s character. The monkey is known to be intelligent and shrewd, whilst the ox is known to be a hardworker.

This year, we have a series of the 12 animal zodiac in coasters and boxes. Have the box for your keepsakes, or give them to a friend.

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Do you know someone born in the year of the tiger, which is this new 2010 year’s zodiac sign? My son will be (I am pregnant right now), and these are characteristics about him:

The Tiger is said to be lucky vivid, lively and engaging. Another attribute of the Tiger is his incredible bravery, evidenced in his willingness to engage in battle or his undying courage. Maybe he’s so brave because he is so lucky. But the Chinese say a Tiger having a Tiger in the house is the very best protection against the evils of fire, burglary.

Some of the key characteristics of the Tiger are:

Courage, Vehemence, Self-Reliance, Friendliness, Hopefulness, Resilience, Vanity, Disregard