Ang Pao Etiquette: The Dos And Don'ts

Ang Pao Etiquette: The Dos And Don'ts
It’s that time of the year again, where splashes of red and gold seem to adorn every street in Manila and Melbourne in preparation for Chinese New Year.



Stands are popping up left and right selling everything from little token rat accessories, to Chinese calligraphy banners to gifts such as tea, sweets and of course: red lucky envelope (aka ang pao, hong bao, or lai see, as most says). Read on to learn all the dos and don'ts when it comes to receiving red packets.

To some, giving and receiving ang pao may be second nature, but to others, especially those new to Chinese culture, it can be a source of stress as there is a certain ang pao code of conduct that should be respected.




Giuseppe Zanotti 2020 red packets
Giuseppe Zanotti 2020 red packets




To help you avoid any social faux-pas, we have put together a quick do’s and don’ts list to ensure that you breeze through Chinese New Year gaffe-free.

1. Do not give or receive ang pao with just one hand.

2. Do hold the red envelope with two hands when giving and receiving.

3. Do not have your children give ang pao to anyone.

4. Do follow the big to small or senior to junior rule. For example: parents to kids, boss to employees and married couples to single, younger relatives.

5. Do not give multiple notes in one packet.

6. Do give either a single bill or two packets with one bill each.

7. Do not give increments of four or odd numbers.

8. Do keep the amount to even numbers. The number 4 is considered an unlucky number as it sounds like the Chinese word for “death”.

9. Do not give coins or crumpled up notes.

10. Do give a crisp bill fresh from the bank. We suggest going to the bank a few days early to avoid last-minute queues.

11. Do not check the amount in front of the receiver before giving it to him/her.

12. Do have the different denominations housed in differently designed packets. Ang pao amounts will vary depending on how well you are acquainted with the receiver so staying organised will make it easy for you to know exactly how much you are giving.

13. Do not open your ang pao in front of the person giving it to you.

14. Do wait until he or she leaves to open your packet. Opening it in front of them will make you seem too eager to see how much you received.

15. Do not give your ang pao after Chinese New Year celebrations.

16. Do start giving ang pao on the first day of the Lunar New Year and finish on the 15th day

17. Do choose the unique design customized ang pao if you want to be extra, to give a lasting impression. You are encouraging the receiving to keep the envelope and reuse it for next Chinese New Year!

Cartier red packets 2020
Cartier red packets 2020




18. For practical reasons, DO choose giving virtual ang pao to your family using Paymaya. Through the app’s Send Money feature, you can easily gift your Digital Ang Pao to another PayMaya user without having to deal with the hassles of cash and red paper envelopes. The best part is you can get up to P200 cashback when you participate in the Send Money promos. You can get up to P100 when you send at least P200 every day and an additional P100 when you send a total of P10,000.


DO choose giving virtual ang pao to your family using Paymaya

You can also double your luck when you #ScanToPay this January 25 - 26 because PayMaya is giving you two chances of getting up to 100% cashback when you shop or dineat partner QR merchants. On top of that, you can get an additional P150 cashback when you spend an accumulated P5,000.

All of these amazing deals are part of PayMaya’s shopping promos which will run until January 31, 2020.

Start your good fortune by signing up for a PayMaya account today! Just download the PayMaya app for FREE on the Google Play Store or App Store, register for an account, and start shopping with the most rewarding and hassle-free way to pay!

unique design customized ang pao

These 18 Ang Pao rules should keep you in everyone’s good graces. While most of the ang pao you find will be red, the most auspicious colour, feel free to have fun with the more colourful envelopes available.


Gong Xi Fa Cai!




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