Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The significance of the Red Envelope

I Love that we have culture in our lives. I also love being taught and being able to teach the boys about the Chinese culture. During Chinese New Year we gave the boys their red envelopes with money inside and they also received some in the mail from Grandma and Grandpa Yee.  The boys were thrilled to open up their envelopes. I found this article online and I thought I would share it for those of you who don't know about the significance of the red envelope.

A red envelope (紅包, hóngbāo) is simply a long, narrow, red envelope with money in it. Traditional red envelopes are often decorated with gold Chinese characters like happiness and wealth.  

Unlike a Western greeting card, red envelopes given at Chinese New Year are typically left unsigned. For birthdays or weddings, a short message, typically a four character expression, and signature are optional.

Kids learn promptly the significance of the Chinese Red Envelope since on New Year's Day, they are given the shiny things with money inside!

And of course they quickly learn the words for red envelope... in all the dialects they can manage: "hong pao" in mandarin, "lai see" in cantonese.

You get hong paos from grandma, grandpa, uncles, aunts, mom and dad of course, so by the end of the festivities, you can accumulate quite a bit of cash!!!

1 comment:

The Foisy's said...

He he, I love that picture of Aiden pulling out his dough!! That is a fun tradition that I wish occurred in our culture Lol.