Red envelopes in Chinese culture .. What are they


Red envelopes in China is used as a way to send good wishes and luck. Actually Chinese culture is associated with many customs and traditions. Such as the color red and its relation with various occasions where people exchange red envelopes.

In this article, we will talk about the red envelopes in Chinese culture.

A look at the red envelopes in China

Red envelopes in China are one of the most important gifts that is given to other people on occasions. The envelope is a long rectangular card in red which is decorated with Chinese letters in gold.

Cash gifts are placed in these envelopes. In addition, these gifts may include purchase coupons and other things.

Therefore, we find in Chinese culture a great use of things associated with the color red. Because the color red means good luck for Chinese people. And that’s why red envelopes are used as an expression of good luck.

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How to use red envelopes in China

There are many situations in which red envelopes are used, including:

  • Celebrations of the Chinese New Year, where parents, grandparents, relatives and friends gift the younger generations with red envelopes that contain sums of money.
  • In some companies, the staff is given red envelopes at the end of the year as a cash reward for its hard work.
  • Red envelopes are also one of the most popular gifts on family occasions including birthdays and weddings etc…

One of the customs of Chinese New Year is not to sign the envelopes. But, on birthdays and wedding parties, it is enough to write a short message that includes four letters with the signature and that’s optional.

Red envelopes in China
Chinese Child

How to give and receive red envelopes

Giving and receiving red envelopes needs a special protocol in Chinese culture. Envelopes must be presented and received with both hands.

In Chinese New Year or at Christmas, the recipient should not open the gift immediately. But at weddings, it is different. A table is placed at the entrance of the celebration hall, and the guests present the envelopes to the wedding owners. After which their names are written, the cards are opened, and the money is recorded to find out the amount that was given to the newlyweds.

How much money is in the red envelopes

The amount of money placed in the red envelopes varies according to the occasion. For this reason, children in the Chinese New Year are given an amount of money according to the age of the child and its relativity to the person who is gifting him.

Usually, children are given an amount of about $7, but older children and teenagers take larger amounts that are sufficient to buy many things such as: clothes and entertainment needs.

For companies, the cards usually include sums of money that are presented to employees as a reward which equals one month’s wage.

But in weddings, the amount in the envelope should be like giving a nice gift.

On the other hands, the amount of money on birthdays is less than other occasions. And sometimes, a lot of people tend to give gifts instead of red envelopes.

Red envelopes in China
Money Gifts

Anyway, you should not give sums of money that contain numbers such as number (4) because it does not bring luck. Instead, it’s so much better to put lucky numbers such as ( And of course, you should put new cash while avoiding using coins and checks.

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Finally, in this article we have provided information about red envelopes in China. And we invite you to browse more interesting articles about Chinese society in the section (Life in China) .

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