Ang Pao – Red Envelope

Citibank ang pao - red envelope
Citibank ang pao – red envelope for the Year of the Tiger 2010.

In the olden days, ang pao were actually coins wrapped in red paper – the kind that leaves red stain on the finger tips when touched. I did receive a few of such ang pao when I was a kid. Those were given by the amah chehs – unmarried servants – who usually wore white top and black bottom sam foos. I still do not know the reasons why they gave out ang pao as unmarried adults are not obliged to do that.

HSBC ang pao - red envelope
HSBC ang pao – red envelope for the Year of the Tiger 2010.

With the easy availability of pre-made red envelopes, there is no need to get the fingers stained nowadays on the eve of Chinese New Year. That is usually the time when married adults prepare the ang pao by putting money into the red envelopes. The amount put in must be even. Odd amounts are considered inauspicious.

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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. Columnist of Breaking Barriers in The Borneo Post. Principal Trainer at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Ang Pao – Red Envelope”

  1. Happy Lunar New Year Pete! here’s wishing you and wuan all the very best for the year and may you two be blessed with good health and prosperity.

    Peter:
    Keong Hee mate! May you have a great year.

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