In China, people believe that luck does not come from the money stored inside, but from the red color of the New Year envelope.

On the occasion of the Lunar New Year, people often exchange red envelopes (red envelopes) with good wishes to family, friends and especially children.

In Chinese culture as well as many other Asian countries, red symbolizes luck and prosperity. That is also the reason, this color is often chosen to make pink bao.

The custom of giving red envelopes appears in some folk tales about the Chinese New Year. According to legend, on New Year’s Eve, a demon named “Sui” used to come and disturb children while they slept. Parents find ways to keep their children up all night.

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A baby is given 8 coins by his parents to play and stay awake. However, a moment later, the child, unable to open his eyes, collapsed on the pillow with the coins. The demon appeared, but was unable to touch the child. The coins, which were actually the Eight Immortals in disguise, created a powerful light that warded off evil spirits. Today, the envelope, which represents the coins, is sometimes referred to as “suppression money Sui”.

Initially, lucky money was reserved for young children. Nowadays, people give red envelopes to friends, family, and colleagues. With each relationship, the amount of money inside the red packet is different. For example, money for grandparents, parents is often the most while employees or ordinary acquaintances may be an empty red envelope.

There are many rules and customs in giving lucky money. A good example is to put only new and beautiful bills in it. Therefore, every New Year, people wait in long lines at the bank to exchange old and torn money.

In addition, many rules for receiving lucky money also need to be followed exactly. Usually, young children will kneel to receive red envelopes from the elders. This custom is still maintained in many regions of China. People will use both hands to give and receive lucky money; do not peel while the donor is still present.

Red bao is also used in many occasions when people want to share luck and blessings such as weddings or congratulation on the birth of a baby. In funerals, white envelopes are used.

The tradition of giving lucky money has transcended geographical and religious boundaries. In Islam, giving green envelopes has become common practice during Eid al-Fitr throughout Southeast Asia. The Chinese who immigrate to other countries around the world also carry red envelopes. They appear in many large-scale celebrations in London (UK) or New York (USA).