new year

Happy New Year2022

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is the most important festival in China. And it will fall on Tuesday, February 1st.There are 7 days public holiday for this festival, which from January 31st to February 6th, 2022.

During the festival, many activities will be held by Chinese families. They will clean up the house from top to button and put up decorations, before eating reunion dinner with family on New Year's Eve, they will offer sacrifices to ancestors first. After dinner, the older will gift red envelopes to child. And the other activities include firecrackers and firework, watching lion and dragon dances and etc.

In this article, we will introduce you the tradition of exchanging red envelopes. You will know the origin of red envelopes,the meaning of the Chinese New Year red envelopes and how much money should you put in a Red Envelope by reading it.

The Origin of Red Envelopes


Exchanging Red Envelopes during Chinese New Year is a tradition with over a thousand years of history. About the custom of giving red envelopes, there is an oldest stories of Chinese New Year. As the legend goes, there was a demon named Sui that came out to terrify children while they were asleep on Chinese New Year’s Eve. To keep children safe from being harmed by Sui, parents would light candles and stay up for the whole night on that date. The legend goes:

One New Year’s Eve, a child was given eight coins to play with. The child wrapped the coins in red paper, opened the packet, rewrapped it, and reopened it again and again, finally he was tired and fell asleep. And his parents placed the packet with eight coins under his pillow. When Sui tried to touch his head, the eight coins emitted a strong light and scared the demon away. In the next day, the couple told everyone about wrapping eight coins in red paper can scare Sui away, so everyone learn and use it to keep their child safe and sound.

The Chinese New Year Red Envelopes is Meaningful


Exchanging Chinese New Year red envelopes is a traditional Chinese custom of the Han nationality. And it is a traditional gift for children or elderly people during Chinese New Year. In China, the red envelope (money) is called ya sui qian (压岁钱), which means 'suppressing Sui (the demon)money'. It is said that those who receive a red envelope will live a year in happiness and health.

Generally, on Chinese New Year’s Eve or New Year's Day, young children and grandchildren greet their parents and grandparents by saying Happy New Year (新年快乐)or Wish you happiness and prosperity(恭喜发财). In return, grandparents and parents gift their children and grandchildren red envelopes with money, wishing them healthy and good luck in the new year.

Parents and grandparents also receive red envelopes given by their grown-up children/grandchildren as a way of sending them good luck, happiness, and health. Exchanging red envelopes not only between families members, but also between friends. Some people will transfer the money to their friend online and wish them to have a good fortune in a new year.

How Much Money Should I Put in a Red Envelope?


The Chinese New Yew 2022 is just around the corner, you may need to prepare some red envelopes filled with money in varying amounts for your beloved families and friends. You may curious about how much money should be put in a red envelope? Well, there is no solid number from 10 RMB to more than a thousand RMB. It just a way to express your love and care, so no matter how much you put inside, the receiver will be happy and feel grateful.

But please note that the closer your relationship is, the more money is expected. Here are some examples of Chinese people how to set up their red envelope money, I hope it helps.

  • To elders:Especially for your parents and grandparents, always 500–2,000 yuan (or $100–300).
  • To your own children:always 100 yuan (or $20) up to the amount you are happy to give.  It’s important to let the kids know why give the money and what to do with the money.
  • To the younger generation without an income:Especially for those who are still at school, such as the children of your your relatives, your close friends, always 50–200 yuan (or $10–30).
  • To other children:Prepare some small red envelopes with 20 yuan or 50 yuan (or $5–10) for acquaintances' children, in case you meet them during the Chinese New Year period.

Tips for Giving a Red Envelope

  • It is better to put crisp, new bills inside a Chinese New Year red envelope. Giving dirty or wrinkled bills is in bad taste. Also please avoid to put coins it.
  • The money for elders are always more than the younger generations, which is a way of showing respect and politeness to the elders.
  • Avoid giving amounts such as 40 yuan or 400 yuan. The number '4' in Chinese sounds like 'death', so this is considered bad luck.
  • The amount of red envelopes given to the young generations should be as same as possible, and avoid determining the amount of red envelopes based on age.
  • It is better to prepare some red envelopes in advance and carry it with you during all 16 days of Chinese New Year (from New Year's Eve to the Lantern Festival) in case you meet someone that you may need to give an envelope to.

Further reading:
Hong Kong – Shenzhen/Futian High-Speed Trains
China High-Speed Train/Rail Guide
How to Buy China Train Tickets