Tradition of the Red Pocket
Gifts are very special ways to celebrate wonderful moments and events of the people we care about. In some cultures, gifts are selected carefully based on the age, gender, personality or many other qualities to personalize the experience to the recipient. However, in some cultures, ‘cold hard cash’ is the tradition and the preferred gift-giving method. Specifically, Chinese and many Asian cultures give a red envelope or red pocket which is a monetary gift normally given during holidays such as Chinese New Year and Christmas, as well as special occasions like weddings, birthdays, graduation etc. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits. The act of requesting for red packets is normally called tao hongbao (討紅包) or yao lishi (要利是). Red envelopes are usually given out by married couples to single people, especially to children or work colleagues.
With many people moving abroad, it is impossible to hold large social gatherings where family and friends can be present, thus the tradition of physically giving and receiving the red envelope is not possible. Some may choose alternate methods of giving money, such as getting other family members to present it on their behalf, sending cheques/bank drafts, or through a money transfer vehicle such as a bank transfer. However, although the goal is achieved, this method lacks the personal touch that is possibly the most important part of the tradition.
Red Pocket Gifts is a 'free' website that has been created to help people to re-connect with the tradition
of the gift-giving of money, whether living in close proximity, or being on opposite sides of the world. The complete ‘gift in
one’ includes the cash gift component with a message and a personal video, making the experience personal and special to both the
giver and the receiver.
Further information: Wikipedia: Red Envelope