Angpao Etiquette You Should Know

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Chinese New Year means red envelopes from your favorite aunties and uncles, as well as your grandparents! In your excitement, you may forget that the holiday is meant to bring you and your family closer together, and the ang paos are just a bonus.

Here are a few things to remember when you receive your angpao:


Receive it with both hands.

Receiving things with both hands is a sign of respect, and please do not tug at it. Wait for them to let go of the envelope before pulling away.


Say “to shia.”

Do thank them for the gift because it is exactly that: a gift. They aren’t required to give you anything during the occasion. Their presence is the gift.


Do not count the money in plain sight.

Receiving money is exciting, but try to show some restraint. Do not count the money in front of your relatives. If you really can’t wait to find out how much you got, excuse yourself from the gathering for a moment.


Try not to compare amounts with your relatives.

While people in the same generation will usually get the same amount, it’s just better not to know who got how much. Comparing the amounts you get in your angpao would be a horrible way for your cousins to find out that you’re the favorite sun-ah.


Are you the one also giving the angpao? Check out our helpful guide for giving angpao.

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