gifting in india

Gifting Etiquettes in India

Gifting Etiquettes in India

The culture of gifting is as historic and significant as it could get. Whether it is for social acceptance or religious importance, gifting plays a major role. And why not, everyone likes a box wrapped in colourful paper. The mystery behind that present and the excitement adds up to the overall experience.

In ancient India, it was known as dāna. This was considered as a huge responsibility and as a practice of dharma for the people of India. Dharma essentially has four concepts namely, knowledge, penance, gift, and truth. However, gifts given by kings were known as mahādānani. Soon royal gifting became a part of rājadharma. After this, more and more people started the practice of gifting. Ever since gifting has been a great part of our lives and the legacy continues.

So, what are some of the gifting etiquettes in India. Well, yes there are a few things that must be kept in mind when you are planning on gifting something to someone. It must be made sure that the gift suits the occasion and brings joy to the receiver. So, following are some of the most common gifting etiquettes that are followed in India:

The Extra Rupee


Adding one rupee to a gift: gifting in India

We would have all seen those bright coloured envelopes that come along with an extra one rupee Have you ever wondered what is the significance of that one rupee note or coin? It is known to bring abundance and good luck. In India, gifting a present or giving money is not just an obligation but it also brings along the good wishes and blessings with it. Thus, having that extra rupee makes the present indivisible which symbolizes infinite happiness and prosperity.

A Bowl of Love

returning filled bowl: gifting in India


Your mother would have told you never to return an empty bowl. No matter how big or small the vessel is, you must never return it empty. This is an Indian gifting tradition that has passed on from generations to generations. But what is the reason behind this? Giving back a bowl with homemade delicacies can help a bond grow and can be the starting point of a never-ending relationship.

Bright Colour Wrapping Papers

Wrapping Paper

In India, wrapping gifts in bright colours is considered to be a good omen. While black and white coloured gift wrappers are frowned upon. Not only vibrant colours look good, but they are also known to bring good luck and auspiciousness. So, while attending an Indian wedding, be sure that you wrap your present in a cheerful and lively colour.

Return Gifts

return gifts

However, it is always suggested that one should not expect anything in return of the present. But Indians strongly believe in karma. Thus, so the practice of returning once favour and in this case return gifts is highly prevalent. So, one should avoid giving costly gifts as it may put a burden on the recipient. As they will feel obliged to return the favour. Return gifts are usually quite inexpensive. A small gesture is more than enough at times. Usually, people prefer to give a token of love to children. These could be chocolates, candies or a small stuffed toy.

Auspicious Presents

 Indian gift wrapping

Yes, Indian do consider some gifts as auspicious. These presents are said to be good omens and bring happiness and prosperity. So, there are a number of presents that are socially accepted at auspicious occasions like weddings, anniversaries, housewarming, birthdays, Diwali, New Year, Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Eid. So, if you are planning to visit any of these, you should probably get flowers, cakes, chocolates, handicraft items, dry fruits, perfumes, photo frames, and sweets.


theme party

More than anything else, it is important to know the theme of the soiree and choose accordingly. So, if you are going to a colleague’s party, you should get a formal present rather than a quirky one. However, if your friend is hosting a house party, you are free to experiment. Also, if it is a major event like a wedding, your present should also reflect that. You should choose a traditional present or simply stick to gifting money.

Well, these are a few things that you need to consider before picking a present for someone. And we are sure that you will be able to find the right present and deliver it well. This will help bring a smile on the receiver’s face and will also come in handy for them. If you have a few ideas that you would like to share with us, do comment down below and let the world know. Happy Gifting!