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The time of the year to receive(and give) ang pows is here again! It is a joy for some and a pain for others. Well, one man’s ang pow money is another man’s salary they say. This practice has been around for centuries and doesn’t seem like it will be changing anytime soon so it is good to know some best practices!
1. What is a decent amount to give?
When I was young, I used to receive $2 angpow and sulk. That was 30 years ago. While there isn’t an official amount to put in an angpow, there is a number that is considered generally socially acceptable. Make a guess, yes it is the auspicious number $8.
2. Should everyone receive the same amount?
No. You would give the uglier kids more so they have more things to cheer about in life. Okie kidding. There is no standard number as the act of giving an angpow symbolizes the gift of a blessing. Therefore it is fine to give different amounts to different recipients depending on how close they are. You would give your nephew more as compared to your colleague’s child. There is also this reciprocal gesture where you tend to give more to those who are known to give bigger amounts. Experience(and a good memory) counts.
3. When do newly weds have to start giving angpows?
Great, you just had a gala wedding dinner and the romantic dream get away and came back broke. Chinese New Year is next week. You consider taking up a loan just to tide over this period. Fret not, because tradition in on your side. The chinese tradition is that newly weds do not have to give out angpows during the first year of their marriage.
4. When should singles stop receiving angpows?
There isn’t an official stance on this but the tradition is that married couples will give angpows as blessings to the elderly, single and children as a form of blessing. It is also entirely up to the receiver should they decide that they need to stop receiving angpows.
5. Should the amount in angpow be an even number?
Yes. It is strictly even numbers as all good things come in pairs.
6. Is it rude to open an angpow right after receiving it?
Certainly! It is considered rude to do so. Some children will be very tempted to do so and often get chided right on the spot but still repeats the same act anyway.
7. Can I escape from giving out an angpow if I am married?
The only way to escape giving out angpows is to file for a divorce. Otherwise, taking a holiday during the chinese new year simply to avoid giving angpows is not the most classy thing to do.
8. Should the angpow recipients say a greeting before receiving an angpow?
Yes. It is a tradition to do so and best done so if you hold both hands together wrapped fists together and shake them back and forth while uttering “Gong xi fa cai” or “Xin nian kuai le”. Don’t forget to say thank you after receiving the angpow.
Wishing all my readers(if any) a happy and prosperous new year!! Huat ah!!