The lucky Red Envelope
For those of us who have Asian heritage, Chinese New Year is a very exciting time of year when all of the “adults” hand you a Red Envelope containing cold hard cash. If you’ve never seen a Red Envelope or wondered what it means, we’re here with the (very high level) answers!
Good wishes and luck for the new year ahead
The Red Envelope isn’t just about money. The envelope itself holds great significance, the red colour symbolises energy, happiness, and good luck in Chinese cultures (and other East Asian).
While the tradition centers on children, Red Envelopes are also often given to friends, family, colleagues and many other relatives - and the amount of money will depend on the relationship. For example, parents and grandparents get the most, but employees and even casual acquaintances can expect a Red Envelope.
I want to spread some luck, take me to the App.
Should I give a Red Envelope?
1. Do you have a steady salary?
If you answered yes to the above two questions then, yes. The packet is a way to share the blessings you have had with others.
I’m a yes to both, I better get shouting.
It’s the 21st century, fam
In more recent times, Red Envelopes are exchanged digitally instead of the traditional paper ones. These are virtual packets of very real cash, transferred directly to friends’ and family smartphones via Apps just like Shouta™.
This Lunar New Year we’ve added a limited edition Red Envelope shout to the App. Bonus: if you’re a recipient, collect the cash all on one card, the Shouta™ Mastercard™.
How much should I shout in my Red Envelope?
NEVER EVER give an envelope filled with cash starting with the number ‘4’ - that means no 4, 40, or 400 amounts - as the pronunciation of ‘four’ in Chinese sounds like the word for death. However, amounts including the number ‘8’ will bring good luck and prosperity.
The amount of money is relative to your relationship — the closer your relationship is, the more money is expected.
Your own kids: As much as you are happy to give, usually $20 and up.
Your parents and grandparents: $100 and up.
The kids in the family, they might be in school or uni: About $10 is pretty generous.
To kids outside of your family: About $5, in case you meet them during the Chinese New Year period.
To your employees: Anything between $20 and $200.