I have always been blessed to have friends from around the globe. We can all learn so much from each other, and apart from learning the different cultures and traditions, it just broadens our outlook and understanding of each other, and simply brings us all together!
I met two lovely young men last year, and we instantly became friends as Kan celebrated his birthday the same month as one of my sons (now passed). I loved the similarity in humor, super intelligence and we just connected. They affectionately call me ‘Mom” and I love it! So fast forward to the 2023 Lunar New Year. We were meeting for dinner and I knew they were going to be giving me an envelope but I wanted to surprise Kan and Wayne with a Red Envelope for the Lunar Year too! I was chuckling at the thought of surprising them! What does this custom represent? While there are many debates as to how to accurately describe the holiday, none can dispute the origin.
A “Red Pocket” or “Red Envelope” contains money and symbolically means to ‘anchor the year”. Why is it given?
The custom of giving red envelopes originates in some of the oldest stories of Chinese New Year. As the legend goes, a demon known as ‘Sui’ terrorized children while they slept on New Year’s Eve, and parents would try to keep their children awake all night to protect them. One New Year, a child was given eight coins to play with to keep him awake, but he couldn’t keep his eyes open and eventually drifted off with the coins on his pillow. Sui appeared, but as he went to touch the child, the coins (actually the Eight Immortals in disguise) produced a powerful light that drove the demon away. Today the envelope, symbolic of the coins, is sometimes known as the yasui qian, or “suppressing Sui money”.
While the tradition centers on children, red envelopes are given to friends, family, colleagues and many other relatives – and different amounts of money are customary for each relation. For example, parents and grandparents get the most, but employees and even casual acquaintances can expect a red envelope.
The amounts are important and there are taboos. Never include a gift that includes a ‘Four” in the pronunciation. Four is considered wrong as it represents death. The luckiest number is 8. Of course, my gifts to my friends were in 8’s! (It means wealth and success).
The Year of the Rabbit is going to be a favorable time for most zodiac signs. We can expect success in love and career advancement, with no significant health concerns. Additionally, financial success will be easier to achieve this year.
The Year of the Rabbit brings peace, harmony, and tranquility to the new year. We look forward to the year ahead! Courtesy of Cartus.
I love my friends, and since it is a joyous Holiday, how can we not appreciate what it has to offer! 新年快乐
Westchester is Great!