Monday, March 10, 2008
CHINESE RED PACKETS
Chinese New Year has passed about a month now, but I have to mention that red packet designs are getting nicer and nicer, these are the one of the cutest designs so far from these banks! If you notice, the design spans the entire series, so they all join up at the edges! The ones in the photos are free and issued by banks when we want to change old cash notes for new ones. Sometimes companies will give them out too if you make a purchase at their store.
Red packets or 'hong bao' ('ang pow' in hokkien dialect) are used when senior/ married folk insert cash into them and hand it over to unmarried folks during Chinese New Year. Denominations are usually in even-numbers for superstition and depending on how close you are to the person that will result in how much you get. Also it depends on whether the person is generous or not. My experience tells me that usually the richer the person the stingy-er they are, although there are the rich & generous, but they are very rare. Anyhow receiving red packets is something to look forward to (or an excuse) to go house visiting. However the people giving out cash probably don't like to welcome too many strangers to their home, unless they like giving money away.