I make it a point to know what the new year holds for me by keeping track of the advices dispensed by the Fengshui Master, through taking precaution of the warning issued, especially related to interpersonal relationship & health.
Was striking a conversation with my girl's Kindergarten teacher on the appropriate amount to insert into the red packets.
That was when I realised that this once a year affair is financially draining in China.
According to her Chinese teachers, the typical customary practice is 100 yuan (about S$20) in general, 200 yuan & above for kids of relatives (S$40),
in addition, they need to bring along a present to during the house visit, this is sharp contrast to 2 Mandarin Oranges that are utilised in Singapore.
Is $2 hongbao too little?
This article was first published in The Straits Times on Jan 19, 2014.
hose planning to give $2 hongbao during Chinese New Year might want to think twice: This amount just does not cut it anymore, say some couples.
Tax accountant Clarissa Tan, 25, says: "All my aunties and uncles give $50 hongbao, or at least $10 or $20. $2 is just too little - what can you buy with $2 these days?"
Giving hongbao, also known as angpow or red packet, is a key part of Chinese New Year celebrations, which run for 15 days. The first day of Chinese New Year this year is Jan 31. These red packets, which symbolise good luck and are thought to ward off evil spirits, are usually handed out by married couples to single adults, children and parents.
The Tans say when it comes to their turn next year, they will give out hongbao containing $10 to $20 to their friends and $50 to closer relatives.
Indeed, couples interviewed say a $2 hongbao seems too miserly and can be embarrassing for the giver, especially when others are handing out red packets containing at least $6 or $8.
He and his wife give at least $8 to $10 to family members and close friends.
Mr Tan adds: "The minimum sum to give our parents is $100 each. But it also depends on how much you can afford to give... if your parents are retired, now is your turn to repay their love." Personal trainer Aldrin Ho, 39, who owns a gym and sports rehabilitation facility, says $2 is too "kiam siap" (Hokkien for stingy), and $6 is the minimum these days.
"But I have $4 hongbao in case we meet kids whom we do not know during visiting," he adds.
He and his wife give their nieces and nephews red packets of $10 or $20, while their two children each receive $50.
Etiquette expert Agnes Koh, director of Etiquette & Image International who is in her 40s, says $10 is considered an acceptable rate for siblings, nieces and nephews, while red packets for parents should start from $200.
These are the rates given by friends and others whom she has come into contact with over the years, she says. "But ultimately, it still boils down to family culture and tradition," she adds. "$2 was more common and acceptable about 10 to 20 years ago. Now, the average amount in red packets tends to be $8 to $10."
Associate Professor Su Jui-Lung, from the Department of Chinese Studies at the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, says there are no hard and fast rules when deciding on the amount to give.
During Chinese New Year, and stretching into the following week, you may notice a flurry of red envelopes being exchanged almost everywhere you go. These fancy little red envelopes, called "lai see", are packets that contain good luck money.
There's a set of rules you have to abide by when giving out lai see.
Locals give out lai see like it's second nature to them, but in fact, there are different amounts distinguished for different people and people with different marital statuses and also people with different job positions. Starting to feel a little weary about this whole business? You'll get the hang of it once you understand proper lai see etiquette.
The amount you put in the lai see is up to you, but there are ballpark figures for each set of people. - For services you frequently use or go to, such as your waiter, dry cleaner, or doorman, $20 will do. - For young kids (below 10 years old), a $10 lai see is acceptable. - For older kids and young adults, you can give $20 to $50.
Depending on how close you are to the person, you can choose to give more. Bosses, married couples, and older relatives tend to give higher amounts.
YOU do not need to queue for bak kwa from Kim Hock Seng.
Owner Ong Geok Hoo, 64, keeps repeating this line to SundayLife! when asked how his barbecued-pork business stands out from the rest. Unlike his competitors that have customers queuing for hours, Mr Ong does not believe in the need for his customers to queue. He says in Mandarin: "Just call me to make an order, why must you queue? Time is money and if my customers queue, I'm wasting their time."
To prove his point, Mr Ong shows SundayLife! his stack of receipts, and gestures towards order forms pasted on the shop's walls for the barbecued-pork slices.
He has run the business for more than 40 years with his wife, Madam Ong Siew Hong, who is in her 50s. The dynamic duo prepare their bak kwa from scratch in their shop.
In Chinatown especially, snaking long queues for this barbecued meat jerky many consider a delicacy during the festive season are not unusual, with some people waiting in line for more than seven hours.
And it seems customers are buying more - the owner of popular "bak kwa" shop Lim Chee Guan said his revenue has gone up by 10 per cent compared to last year.
Last Edit: Jan 30, 2014 18:12:27 GMT 7 by candy188
The Horse is also hardworking and that means that we are all going to be Working Very Hard and running.
Next year, is a Goat year so we can Relax and be a bit lazy.
The Horse year can make people Emotional.
When things don’t go right, PACK your bags and TRAVEL. This can help to alter your luck for the better but must take the PLANE and Cross the sea. ===. On 4 February 2014, Tuesday (Li Chun) and the Banks are open, therefore we will need to GO to the BANK and BANK in some MONEY (CASH OR CHEQUE) on this day so that Our Wealth can GROW. Please go to the bank,
- Wear Red Top
- And bank in a cash or cheque to Your name or Your company’s name. ~~ If good things happen on 4th February, season of spring (Li Chun), then it is going to be a FANTASTIC year.
~~~ If negative things occur, then it means that the year is not going to be smooth.