Tradition – Chinese

During the Chinese New Year it is customary to give what are called Hungbau which are basically red envelopes. They generally have money in them and you are suppose to put it under your pillow. The money isn’t suppose to be spent because it represents your luck for the coming year.

Shishi is originally from China and she told me of the tradition of these red envelopes and how the idea is that if you spend the money from the envelope it is the same as spending all of your luck, so people hold on to this money so that they will have good luck for the entire year.

She told me that she first remembers this when she was a young child, but that she still celebrate the tradition because she wants to have the luck. She had also heard of people that claimed that for one reason or another their luck really was tied to what they did with the money from the red envelopes.

I think that this seems like something that children would participate in. It seems a little like a tradition of Easter egg hunts, something that most children in the United states will participate at some time. It seems like in China the children participate in the red envelopes instead. I think this is very popular because kid would like to think that they can affect their luck.