What's the difference between lucky money and lucky money in each country?  8 minutes to read

What’s the difference between lucky money and lucky money in each country? 8 minutes to read

Although they are generally a lucky money, the diversity of culture and customs in Asian countries still makes certain differences.

Nowadays, not only children receive lucky money, but even children will give lucky money to the elderly in the house as a way of showing respect to their parents. Let’s join iDesign to find out how lucky money culture in other countries is!


In the Qin dynasty, the lucky red envelopes were believed by many to have the effect of bringing luck and banishing demons that harm children on New Year’s Eve. That story has spread everywhere until the lucky money becomes an indispensable part every spring. With their influence, some neighboring countries also have the tradition of lucky money imported from China.

The red envelope 2021 by Benedict Wiyanjaya.

Hong bao (紅包) will be given at social and family gatherings such as weddings or holidays such as Chinese New Year and usually given to people who are still at school or not working. According to Chinese officials, the amount in the envelope should always be an even number, while the odd number will usually be used for funerals. However, not only in China, many countries also disguise the number 4 (四) because the transliteration of this number in Chinese is similar to the word ‘die’ (死). Before Tet, many people will go to the bank to exchange money because they want to give new money for new money instead of old ones.

In southern China, the recipients of the lucky money are usually unmarried people, most of them children. Particularly in the North and the South, the adults will give lucky money to young people under 25 years old, whether single or married. The lucky recipient will limit the coin to avoid being guessed the amount inside, as well as the recipient will politely not open the bag in front of them.


In Vietnam, lucky lucky money is also known as lucky money for children, children in the family who have a stable income will often give lucky money to the children. The wishes when giving lucky money such as “Life for a hundred years old”, “Happiness and prosperity”, “Everything as expected” and “Abundant health”, are related to health issues when people prepare. Step through to add a new age into the new year.

Design your 2021 lucky lucky money Thien Ngan

Children will normally receive a small and moderate amount of red packets, while adults will receive more red packets because adults know this is the one who knows how to use the money. Besides, there is also a part of people who choose to have a lot of money, especially those with finance, as a way to show their style. Like the saying, “A rich person gives birth to a ceremony” means that the richer the person, the more born he / she behaves. Of course, many Vietnamese simply believe that when their finances are better, they have to share. it with family, relatives, or even friends.

Besides the meaning of bringing luck, many couples who want to help their children invest or have a savings account to prepare for their future, they believe that lucky money is also a savings. The children can use in the future in their studies or even as a startup.


In Cambodia, a lucky fortune is called ‘ang pav’ or ‘tae ea’. Ang pav beside to give lucky money on the Lunar New Year, people also use it on the festival of God Tai (Saen Chen) when relatives gather together. The lucky money will be kept as an offering or under a sleeping pillow, or somewhere else, especially near a child’s bed while they are sleeping at New Year’s Eve. Besides lucky money, sometimes people also replace it with a check.

Si Han Ng’s red envelope design.

Besides the similarities in other countries, in Cambodia, those in the family who have a stable career will no longer receive lucky money.

Philippine and Indian

Filipinos of Chinese descent will change their style of red envelopes (called ang pow) during the Lunar New Year, and have received widespread acceptance by Filipinos of origin. Many people have adopted this custom for other occasions such as birthdays and for depositing money during Christmas.

Chin Zien’s angpao design.

The ang pao custom is also practiced by the Hindu communities in Singapore and Malaysia for the Deepavali festival. These are called deepavali ang pow (in Malaysia), purple ang pow or simply ang pow (in Singapore). In the past, they used to use yellow envelopes.

Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore

The Malay Muslims in the four countries mentioned above have adopted the Chinese red envelope as part of their Eid al-Fitr celebration, but instead of red envelopes, they use green envelopes. It is customary for a family to keep a small (usually small) amount of money in a green envelope to hand it over to visitors, or to send it to friends and families who cannot come.

Zero Jia One colorful red envelopes design

The green envelope is used for its traditional association with Islam, and the red envelope adaptation is based on the Muslim sadaqah custom, also known as voluntary. This is not always the case as envelopes come in a variety of colors depending on a modern design. Whereas in Quoran religion, the sadaqah custom is much less important, as in many cultures, this is more like giving gifts and generosity among friends than charity like the red meaning in their religion.

South Korea

In Korea, people will give money in a white envelope with the recipient’s name on the back, sometimes they will give money directly. The use of color envelopes in Korea is very rare, so there are no red envelopes like other countries. Young people will bow to adults and wish them all the best in the new year. Besides giving money, young people sometimes get more good advice.

Besides, Koreans also have a ‘pocket of fortune’ (bogjumeoni). This is a bag made of silk or cotton with a drawstring embroidered with various symbols of fortune for the recipient. There are two popular shapes of the pouch known as ‘durujumeoni’ (round pouch) and ‘gwijumeoni’ (double-gill pouch). The embroidery letters are mostly Chinese characters such as 壽 (long life), 福 (fortune), 富 (prosperity), and 囍 (happiness). Besides the kanji, animals and plants have spiritual meanings such as Ten animals representing longevity, herbs representing immortality, bats or chrysanthemums.

Since traditional Korean clothing has no pockets, they usually have their own bag. According to old beliefs, a bag of fortune is worn like a lucky charm. It is believed that leaving this bag on the first day of the New Year will help dispel evil forces and bring good luck to the year.


In Japan, people use red envelopes that are decorated in colors with a variety of motifs, not just red as the main color is called ‘Pochi bag.’ During the Edo period, large shops and wealthy families would distribute a small bag of mochi and an orange to spread happiness to everyone around. The amount given depends on the age of the child, but is usually equal so that no child feels disadvantaged.

Japanese style red envelopes with many eye-catching designs.

So another New Year is approaching in the next few days, iDesign wishes readers a good time with family, relatives and friends.

Editor: Navi Nguyen
Source: General

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