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Chinese Lucky Money, a Traditional Way to Wish Good Luck


Put in a small red envelop or packets, the Chinese lucky money, also known as Hongbao or Yasuiqian in Chinese, is a monetary gift which are given during the Chinese Spring Festival holidays.


The money was called “Yasuiqian” in Chinese, meaning "money warding off evil spirits", and was believed to protect the kids from sickness and misfortune. Sometimes, the Lucky Money are given to elderly to wish them longevity and health.


In Ancient China, the Chinese lucky money was coins strung with a red line. The adults put coins under the children’s pillows when they were sleeping on the New Year’s Eve. Or kids were given when they wished someone a Happy New Year.


Nowadays the lucky money is usually paper money and no coin in a red envelop, and symbols or Characters of wealth and luck are usually printed on envelop. It is traditional to put brand new notes inside red envelopes, as well as to avoid opening the envelopes in front of the relatives out of courtesy. Generally, there are 100 or 200 yuan in one envelop.     

In some area of southern China, particularly in Guangdong province and Hong Kong, lucky money is called Lai See or Lishi. The amount is normally 10 or 20 yuan, at most 50 yuan. The married people give lucky money to unmarried ones, the employers give to employees.



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