Red Envelopes: A Chinese Tradition

By | February 10, 2011

One of the nicest traditions in Taiwan at Chinese New Year is the Giving and Receiving of Red Envelopes, these contain money for spending on gifts or whatever the recipient decides. Compared to traditional gift giving, it may seem a little crude, but after thousands of years of giving gifts, the Chinese have narrowed it down to a fine art: give money and let the recipient decide to save it, invest it or spend it!

In fact, this tradition is also carried out at Weddings and Funerals, too. Though the envelope color changes from Red to White for Funerals. So when people marry, it’s traditional for gifts for couples ( such as money, gold and household goods to be exchanged at that time.

No worries over gift lists, did she get the gift last time, etc.? No swapping presents? No exchanging unwanted gifts… what could be simpler than even gift certificates?