You might have noticed images of a red envelope on some Chinese dating sites as well as other websites focusing on Chinese culture. So, what’s the story with this little red envelope? We’ve put together some FAQs for you!
What is the red envelope?
In traditional Chinese culture, the red envelope is a long, narrow envelope filled with money. These envelopes are usually decorated with gold Chinese characters representing wealth and happiness. The red envelopes are given out for birthdays, weddings and other celebrations.
Why is it red?
As you might already know, red plays a prominent role in Chinese culture and it symbolizes luck. Many people use the envelopes to wish good luck to a newly married couple or for someone’s birthday.
Who receives these envelopes?
Red envelopes are commonly reserved for the younger generations; their parents, grandparents, and older relatives and friends typically distribute them. It is customary to present the envelope with both hands and to receive it with both hands. It is considered a solemn act.
How much money goes inside?
The amount of money that is placed inside the red envelope varies depending on the situation. For younger children, the equivalent of about $7 is standard. For teens, it’s usually an amount sufficient for buying a t-shirt or movie ticket. Employers usually include a month’s salary while wedding guests offer the approximate amount the couple might have paid per plate at the festivities.
Chinese dating sites often use imagery of the red envelope without any explanation; so many people associate it with romance and dating. As you can see, it actually has a much deeper meaning!