Time to go to the bank (year of the rabbit!)

It’s that time again. Time to get money for red envelopes. On my blog or fb awhile back I asked how much you put in each envelope and how many envelopes you typically hand out. No one answered.

The custom for Jamie’s family’s village is to give 2 envelopes to each person to symbolize each partner who is giving the gift. Although, friends here in the U.S. from the same place as his family, Guangzhou (Hoiping), sometimes don’t know or observe this custom but I figure why not? I noticed his grandmothers only give one red envelope (both his grandfathers have passed way) and his parents give 2.

So now, in preparation, we have to go to the bank to get the small change. One of Jamie’s friends told me last year she got $500 worth of five dollar bills. That’s a lot of red envelopes! For us it’s probably more ~$100 or less. I put as little as $1 in each envelope. Sometimes a $5 bill here and there and definitely a lot more for actual blood family.

If I forget Jamie’s friends will walk up to me, hands clasped outstretched and say, “Gong hai faat choi”=”Happy New Year,” kind of like the way you say “Trick or treat” and hold out your hands in anticipation of candy. (Hee hee, before we got married I used to do this to my married friends.)

Over the years (been married 4) we’ve learned around Lunar New Year to just carry them with us pretty much everywhere we go cause we run into people and their kids everywhere. This year we got some cute Hello K1tty and Sn00py ones^^

In case you didn’t know, only married people hand out the envelopes supposedly to younger un-married people like babies and kids, etc. I give them to un-married friends who are older tho. Not married ones tho. Marriage means the getting ends and the giving begins.

So I ask again, how many baus (red envelopes) do you typically end up handing out? How much money do you typically spend on Lunar New Year?


4 responses to “Time to go to the bank (year of the rabbit!)

  1. in the chinese tradition, do the kids recieve money automatically or do you have to pay respect to the elders to recieve it?

      • Yes I do. 😦 However, in the Korean tradition, you have to do saebe or bow before the kids recieve their money.

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