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Giving Red Envelopes for Chinese New Year: A Guide to this Auspicious Tradition

April 26, 2023

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How to Give Red Envelopes for Chinese New Year

For many Chinese people, the Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is the most important holiday of the year. One of the most cherished traditions during this festive time is the giving of red envelopes, also known as "hongbao" in Mandarin or "lai see" in Cantonese. Red envelopes are considered auspicious gifts and are filled with lucky money to bring good fortune in the coming year. If you're unfamiliar with this cultural tradition, don't worry! In this blog post, we'll guide you on how to best give red envelopes during Chinese New Year.

How to Give Red Envelopes for Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is a time for celebrating and spreading joy. Giving red envelopes is a way to share blessings and good fortune with family, friends, and loved ones. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to give red envelopes:

1. Prepare the Red Envelopes

Choose red envelopes that are clean, new, and in good condition. It's traditional to use red envelopes since red symbolizes luck and prosperity in Chinese culture. You can find red envelopes at local Chinese markets or purchase them online.

2. Fill the Red Envelopes with Lucky Money

Place crisp, new banknotes inside the red envelopes. The amount you put inside is a personal choice, but it's customary to give an even number, as odd numbers are associated with funerals in Chinese culture. The amount should be a token of good luck, so avoid giving amounts with the number four, as it is considered unlucky.

3. Present the Red Envelopes with Blessings

When giving red envelopes, hold them with both hands as a sign of respect. Wish the recipient a happy and prosperous new year while handing them the red envelope. It's common to exchange greetings such as "Gong Xi Fa Cai" (Mandarin) or "Gung Hay Fat Choy" (Cantonese), which mean "Wishing you a prosperous new year."

4. Receive Red Envelopes with Gratitude

If you're receiving red envelopes, accept them with both hands and express your gratitude. It's customary to thank the giver and return wishes of good fortune for the new year.

5. Follow Cultural Etiquette

Respect cultural customs when giving or receiving red envelopes. Avoid opening the red envelopes in front of the giver and don't include coins or amounts that end in the number four. Remember to use appropriate language and be mindful of the cultural significance of the red envelopes.

6. Share the Joy of Giving

Encourage others to participate in this beautiful tradition by explaining the meaning and importance of red envelopes. Sharing the joy of giving red envelopes helps keep cultural traditions alive and fosters a sense of unity and happiness during the festive season.

7. Embrace the Spirit of Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is a time to celebrate, connect with loved ones, and embrace cultural traditions. By giving red envelopes, you are participating in a longstanding tradition that brings joy and blessings to both the giver and the receiver. Enjoy the festivities and have a wonderful Chinese New Year!

Switch: A Modern Solution for Group Expenses

In addition to traditional customs like giving red envelopes, modern technology can also simplify the process of managing group expenses during Chinese New Year celebrations. Switch, a mobile payment platform, provides a convenient way to request, collect, and share money with friends and family for festive activities and purchases. With Switch, you can easily create "pitches" or disposable groups to manage shared expenses, ensuring transparency and accountability.

Key Takeaways:

  • Red envelopes are a traditional and meaningful way to give lucky money during Chinese New Year.
  • Choose red envelopes and fill them with crisp banknotes.
  • Present and receive red envelopes with both hands and express gratitude.
  • Follow cultural etiquette and be mindful of customs.
  • Share the joy of giving and embrace the spirit of Chinese New Year.

By using Switch, you can streamline the process of managing group expenses and enjoy a hassle-free Chinese New Year celebration. Give red envelopes, cherish family and cultural traditions, and make the most of this auspicious time. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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