Lai see, in Chinese, means to spread good luck and health, and to keep the bad spirits away. Nowadays, it is given to young people during the Lunar New Year. It is given to them to wish them good luck. … Giving red packets to people like security guards is a token of gratitude.
What does lai see mean in Cantonese?
Known in Mandarin as ‘hong bao’ (meaning, ‘red envelopes’) and in Cantonese as ‘lai see’ (or ‘lai si’, meaning ‘being useful’), these slender, cash-filled packets represent a gesture of thanks, friendship and recognition – a momentary expression of gratitude and connection amid our busy lives.
Who needs to give lai see?
If you live in an apartment complex with its own management staff, you should give lai see to your security guard, cleaners, and doorman. Married couples also give to their single, younger relatives, and may give two lai see packets to each recipient (one from each spouse).
Do you give lai see to parents?
Who gives them? Generally the rule is that lai see is given by those of higher authority, and received by those younger than them, or single. Parents give to children, sometimes bosses to their employees, married couples to their younger and single relatives, grandparents to grand children.
What are lai see packets?
One of the most well-known symbols of the new year is the Chinese lai see in Cantonese (also known as hong bao in Mandarin), which are small red envelopes filled with lucky money. I call them lai see since we lived in Hong Kong. They are mostly red packets but ones that are primarily gold in color are common, too.
Why do Chinese give out red envelopes?
At Lunar New Year, it’s tradition to give the gift of a bright, beautiful red envelope (known as 紅包, hóngbāo) to your friends and family. … The red color symbolizes good luck and prosperity in Chinese (and other East Asian) cultures.
Do you give lai see to friends?
It’s not uncommon to provide a token lai see to helpers of friends who often spend time with your children on playdates. For services you frequently use or go to, such as building staff (security guards, doormen, club staff, etc.), a token amount will do.
Why do people give lai see?
2. Why people give out “lai see”? The red colour symbolizes good luck in the Chinese culture so giving out “lai see” is to wish others good luck in the new year. The “lai see” can also serve to thank others for their contribution in the past as well as to express good will.
When should you open your lai see?
Start giving on the first day of the Lunar New Year and finish on the 15th day. You should give your lai see the first time you meet with someone during that period. Carry around plenty of red envelopes split up into different amounts so you don’t get caught empty handed.
How much Lai do you see at a wedding?
Lai see for weddings guidelines: Guest’s Lai See helps recoup costs for the entire event, and shows goodwill to the newlyweds. Average ballpark of HKD$800-1200 is polite to give (or $500-900 sent if you can’t attend in person).
What is the meaning of Hongbao?
A hongbao (or ang pow in Hokkien) is a gift of money packed into a red packet. Red is considered a symbol of luck, life and happiness. Hongbaos are given as tokens of good wishes during auspicious occasions such as Chinese New Year and weddings.
Can unmarried people give red packets?
What is a red envelope? … Typically, only married folks give out red envelopes, though unmarried people can also do so if they are feeling particularly generous. The amount of money in a red envelope can vary from as little as $2 to hundreds of dollars.
Can you give lai see before CNY?
– Chinese New Year is not Boxing Day. Never, ever open your lai see packet in front of anyone, especially not the person who just gave it to you. If you have children, make sure you instil this paramount rule in them before you let them leave the house during the Chinese New Year period.
How much should I give to CNY?
As a general guideline, your parents, in-laws and grandparents should receive the most as a sign of respect (we’d say anything above $200 is a safe bet). Siblings and your own children can receive about $50 to $200, while cousins can get $10 to $20.
Who gives Hongbao?
Who gets given a Hongbao? Traditionally, children and young adults receive red envelopes as a gift on Chinese New Year from their older relatives, friends of the family or neighbours. If I give a Hong Bao with 40RMB in, is that bad? Four is unlucky in Chinese culture so yes, avoid any number with a four in.