Show me the ‘lucky money,’ but don’t count on it
Published: Feb 19, 2021 07:38 PM

Illustration: Xia Qing/GT

During the Spring Festival, Chinese children are given "lucky money" by senior relatives. This is a certain amount of money wrapped in red envelopes, with a symbolic function of keeping children safe by suppressing demons during the year ahead. Recently, a map of the "amount of 'lucky money' in China," produced by Chinese netizens, has attracted Chinese people's attention. On this map, the amount of "lucky money" is generally higher in the country's eastern coastal areas: 3,100 yuan ($479) in East China's Zhejiang Province and 1,600 yuan in Shanghai. In the city of Putian, East China's Fujian Province, the amount is as high as 12,000 yuan. However, according to the map, the amount of "lucky money" is surprisingly low in South China's Guangdong Province, one of the richest in the country. Packets of lucky money only averaged 50 yuan ($7.7). Whether the amount is high or low does not matter. Indeed, there is no strict standard for how much "lucky money" should be given to children. As long as blessings are sent, the "lucky money" will have completed its mission. This is how the harmonious atmosphere of the Spring Festival should be.