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  • 'Tis the season to be showered in red envelopes.

  • You've heard Cantonese speakers call them "lai see" and Mandarin speakers call them "hong bao".

  • Regardless of what you call them, Chinese New Year's like Christmas because of all the red envelopes you receive.

  • But instead of toys, you get cash.

  • Like any tradition, there are some rules to gifting.

  • Here's two.

  • First, red envelopes are usually only given from married folks to kids.

  • Your boss may even give you red envelopes, tooconsider it a mini bonus.

  • Second, the amount of money matters.

  • Hundreds are great, even fifties, but never, ever give something with fours.

  • Four is a really unlucky number, but we'll save that for another story.

  • Red envelopes have been around since forever, and they've really evolved with the times.

  • There are classics, and then there are some that are just crazy designs.

  • But in the last few years, phones have given a whole new meaning to red envelopes.

  • On WeChat, the biggest Chinese social network, you can send virtual money to your group chat,

  • then your friends can all take a share of the pie.

  • But, honestly, when it comes to Chinese New Year, there's really nothing better than the old-school traditional of getting cold, hard cash.

  • Happy new year, and happy gifting!

'Tis the season to be showered in red envelopes.

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