Chinese New Year Red Envelopes
There are many traditions that Western people know about Chinese culture and the Chinese New Year.
The Chinese New Year is celebrated annually in January or February, according to the lunar calendar.
Many people compare the Chinese New Year to Christmas in western culture.
Just as most western children receive gifts for Christmas, Chinese children receive decorated red envelopes with money inside as their gift from family and close friends.
These inexpensive envelopes are sold in general stores and have special writing and pictures on them for the Chinese New Year.
Parents may directly give the red envelope to the child or they may hide it under the child’s pillow to be found in the morning.
If the red envelope is given directly to the children, they may be required to kowtow to their parents to show respect.
It is said that if the monster Nian comes to scare or harm the children, they can use the money to bribe him to go away!
Some interesting things about these gifts is that the children are not required to write thank-you notes. Such courtesies are not part of the Chinese culture.
In fact, any child reading this is probably now wishing he were Chinese!
Also parents must record the amount that the child was given and by whom so that they can reciprocate the next year, or at another money giving occasion.