Red packets

Posted by Terya on January 14th, 2012 in Asia, Celebrations & festivals, China, Culture, East Asia | 1 Comment

Chinese New Year is accompanied by many customs and traditions. Giving away red packets is one of them.

A red packet or envelope, also known as Ang Pow, Lai Shi or Hóng Bāo, usually contains money and are given on festive days. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits. The elderly and married couples will give anything between a few dollars to a few hundred dollars to their unmarried juniors, depending on the relationship.

If you visit the house of Chinese friends or relatives on Chinese New Year’s eve, saying the magic phrase Gong Chi Fa Cai (Happy New Year) will invariably get you some red packets. (Of course you should always bring a small gift when visiting someone, such as fruits, cakes or chocolate)

Chinese New Year is on the 26th and 27th of January of the year 2009.

You might also be interested in: The Origins of Chinese New Year

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