Lucky You 幸運您

A recent client got me thinking about Chinese New Year.  After addressing these lovely red envelopes in traditional gold ink for a Corporate Event, my curiosity was piqued about this ancient tradition.

Centuries old, Chinese New Year, the most important festival in Chinese Culture, takes place on February 3rd.  The New Year lasts from this first day until the 15th Day of the year.   2011 is the Year of the Rabbit.   “Ancient Chinese New Year is a reflection on how the people behaved and what they believed in the most.”

Red symbolizes prosperity and luck and these red envelopes are given out on Chinese New Year and at Traditional Chinese Weddings.  Those that give and receive a red envelope are considered lucky!

This monetary gift is often given to children and unmarried adults.  Married couples give red envelopes to their parents and money in these envelopes must be new and the total must be even, certain numbers such as four are considered unlucky.   On the morning of the New Year, Mandarin children greet their parents with “Gōng xǐ fā cái, hóng bāo ná lái” (Happy New Year, now give me a red envelope!)

Images of carps, dragons or lotus, with four character expressions of well wishes are traditionally featured on the unsigned envelopes.

Giving a red envelope is one of the many traditions practiced on Chinese New Year, and though they vary, other customs include hanging red decorations in windows and sweeping homes of the past year’s misfortune to welcome in the New Year’s luck.

This culture’s tradition is a great way to adopt the idea of reconciliation and renewal in your own New Year.

Why not spread some luck by making your own “Ang Pow” or Chinese Envelope.

Another great source for Chinese Envelopes and Traditional Chinese fare, is Soho’s Pearl River Mart.

Spread the luck and the wealth this year.  And see what returns…

Xīn Nián Kuài Lè

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