Ang Pau – Red Packet

Citibank ang pau/red packet 2009

If one has an account with a bank, there is hardly a need to buy empty ang pau anymore nowadays as banks will distribute them just before the festive season. Other businesses that give out empty ang pau to their customers are departmental stores, insurance companies and jewellery shops. It is also included in the cartons of soft drinks that are usually served to guests during the fifteen days of celebration.

HSBCang pau/red packet 2009

I remember receiving ang pau with motifs of cute children carrying a big fish or some other traditional auspicious Chinese imageries as a teenager. Ang pau with these designs are hard to come by nowadays. Luckily Mum was a hoarder. There is stash a of unused ang pau with these traditional motifs that she kept in a chocolate box. I would open up the box whenever I am in Penang just to reminisce the good old times when Chinese New Year was the happiest occasion of the year.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

6 thoughts on “Ang Pau – Red Packet”

  1. Hi Peter,

    Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and your wife. May the Year of the Ox shower you with blessings abundant!

    I noticed that this year, ang paus have moved from traditional red to gold, like the HSBC ones above and one from CIMB that I received.

    Thank you for the wishes. Here’s wishing you a blessed year too. Personally, I still prefer ang pau to be red. Perhaps it has been ingrained in me that “red” ang pau is a sign of joyous occasions that I experienced during childhood.

  2. Happy Chinese New Year to you and your wife, Peter. 🙂 [The HSBC ang pau looks very … posh 😀 ]

    Gong xi fa cai to you Ciana.


    I’ve received angapus in various hues this year, and one of them at least had a cute cow on it that made the angpau more precious than the money inside. Funnily enough, I realise you’re right, there aren’t that many angpaus this year that have those motifs anymore.

    Gong xi fa cai! The designs for ang pau have changed over the years. I am going to start collecting ang pau as a hobby from this years onwards. 🙂 Who knows where this may lead to.

  4. aiyah… I remember hor, at a time when I still qualified for angpow, I never really cared for the motifs on the angpow papers. I was only interested in the notes within… ho ho ho

    Yeah, I remember those good old days. CNY was the best time of the year – new clothes, good food, generous relatives.

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