Lucky Red Envelopes

“An avaricious person is like a snake trying to swallow an elephant.” -Chinese proverb

Nevertheless, a laisee always cheers me up. In fact, the upcoming lunar new year (January 31, 2014) has me thinking about these lucky red envelopes. They’re given away on special occasions or holidays (especially the Chinese New Year). For years, fascinated by their beautiful designs, I kept a collection of them. (As you can see, I still have a couple stowed away.)


A few fun facts about the envelopes:

  • Married people provide them to singles, particularly children
  • At weddings, a tea ceremony is held (we did this) where the new couple serves tea to the older relatives and receives envelopes in return
  • There are shorter laisees for coins and bills (use crisp ones!) and longer versions for things like checks

Happy early Chinese New Year!

Foodie Friday: Sashimi
Foodie Friday: Crispy Chow Mein


  1. I always love your little packets of Chinese culture whether they come in red envelopes or doughy dim sum. I shared this little gem on Google Plus. Can’t wait to see all of your New Year postings.

  2. Laisee. So that’s what you call them. I always refer to them as red envelopes. Happy early Chinese new year to you too, Jennifer!

  3. Happy Chinese New Year to you, Jennifer. In San Francisco there are always great festivities for the New Year. I hope to make it again this year.

    • jenniferjchow says

      Happy Chinese New Year, Evelyne! We have several events around here, too. Even a local Chinese school is setting up a celebration.

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