In Chinese, red envelopes are called 利是 (pronounced lai-see). During Chinese New Year, red envelopes are typically given to children and unwed individuals from married couples and adults. This tradition has been going on for hundreds of years, and continues to be practiced to this day.
Inside each red envelope is money. During this time of the year, many adults start setting aside fresh and crisp dollars to put in each envelope. The amount must steer clear of the number 4 because it signifies death in the Chinese culture. The children who receive the envelopes will graciously thank the adult, and wish them good health and fortune for the new year.
Red envelopes are also given to lion dance performers, teachers, and other individuals for their service.
Though it is most common to exchange red envelopes for Chinese New Year, many other occasions also call for this tradition. Red envelopes are also given for weddings and birthdays to wish the recipient good luck and fortune.
What other information do you want to learn about the red envelope? Let us know and we’ll share with everyone in a future post. We hope everyone will receive a lot of good fortune and red envelopes this Chinese New Year!