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Hong Bao

Posted by
Eric Cousineau (Sherwood Park, Canada) on 26 January 2012 in Lifestyle & Culture and Portfolio.

Hong bao (red packets filled with money), also known as lai see or ya suo qiang (year end money), are given out to bring good fortune and success and ensure that nobody, particularly kids and single people, begin the new year short of cash. The amounts vary depending in who is doing the giving and the age of the recipients.

PENTAX K-5 1/80 second F/5.6 ISO 3200 57 mm (35mm equiv.)

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~Barry Williams

Nicou from Sion, Switzerland

De beaqux cadeua qui font un beau dessin, merveilleus eiamge bien composée.
Très belle journée

26 Jan 2012 5:16am

@Nicou: Merci beaucoup Nicou! ;-)

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

They are very pretty with the red, and the graceful gold lettering.

26 Jan 2012 5:28am

@B. Thomas: Thank you very much Barbara! Yes, two very auspicious colours denoting prosperity in the Chinese culture! ;-)

Lena from San Francisco, United States

Good lucky Good luckly.....beautiful image and really nice composition.....:-)

26 Jan 2012 5:50am

@Lena: Thank you very much Lena! ;-)

myky from Ontario, Canada

Effectively shot against that black...fascinating info, Eric!

26 Jan 2012 6:11am

@myky: Thank you very much Myky! ;-)

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

I'm quite happy to go looking old and single if there's money in it ! What wonderful traditions.

26 Jan 2012 7:32am

@Ronnie 2¢: ROFL.....Thank you very much Ronnie! ;-))

Gérard Beullac from Paris, France

I take the whole !

26 Jan 2012 7:46am

@Gérard Beullac: sense in being greedy! Thank you very much Gerard! ;-)

PATRICK from miramas, France


26 Jan 2012 8:00am

@PATRICK: Thank you very much Patrick! ;-)

Tomek from PoznaƄ, Poland

Beautiful composition. Red is fantastic. Bravo Eric!!!

26 Jan 2012 8:14am

@Tomek: Thank you very much Tomek! Yes, red is a very auspicious colour in the Chinese culture! ;-)

tataray from france, France

Belle action, merci pour les explications.
Traditions sympathiques.
Bonne journée)

26 Jan 2012 8:39am

@tataray: Merci beaucoup Raymonde! Je suis content de l'explication de sens! Je trouve que c'est plus facile pour les gens quand vous mettez la photo dans son contexte avec une explication adéquate de ce qu'ils voient! ;-)

StarCosmosBleu from Bedford.Qc, Canada

Super shot...well if all would put in practice this custom...i would surely help many

26 Jan 2012 9:01am

@StarCosmosBleu: Yes indeed, what goes around comes around! Thank you very much Marcel! ;-)

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Excellent colour contrasts, I'm hoping to catch some of the Chinese New Year celebrations in Newcastle this Sunday.

26 Jan 2012 9:27am

@Curly: Thank you very much Curly! Yes, we will be attending the local festivites on Sunday also! ;-)

Mhelene from Paris, France

very beautiful presentation !

26 Jan 2012 9:44am

@Mhelene: Thank you very much Mhelene! ;-)

Phil from Sausset les Pins, France

Money is beuatiful $$$$$$$!!! Phil

26 Jan 2012 9:55am

@Phil: LOL....I can see the fascination! Thank you very much Phil! ;-))

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Rich in tradition! Superb colours and contrast you get here.

26 Jan 2012 11:18am

@Stephen: Thank you very much Stephen! A black background sure helps to set it off! ;-)

Barbara Kile from Ft. Worth, United States

Loving the red - when will I be getting mine?

26 Jan 2012 11:58am

@Barbara Kile: LOL....we will have to talk!! Thank you very much Barbara! ;-))

Doug from Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom

Nice shot and what a wonderful idea

26 Jan 2012 12:06pm

@Doug: Thank you very much Doug! ;-)

mo.langel from Courtelary, Switzerland

Des offrandes porte-bonheur dans la pure tradition chinoise! Superbes couleurs! J'espère que tu en as reçu beaucoup!:)

26 Jan 2012 12:44pm

@mo.langel: Merci beaucoup Mo! J'ai de nombreuses enveloppes à distribuer lors des festivités de dimanche! ;-)

Olivier from Manage, Belgium

Day of chance?

26 Jan 2012 1:06pm

@Olivier: Thank you very much Olivier! No, it is an opportunity to provide gratuities directly to deserving people! ;-)

Mariana M. from Waterloo, Canada

interesting info . cool shot, eric

26 Jan 2012 1:19pm

@Mariana M.: Thank you very much Mariana! ;-)

Ahmad from Isfahan, Iran

This is a nice gift for new year !

26 Jan 2012 1:32pm

@Ahmad: Thank you very much Ahmad! Yes, seeing as how it only goes to those who are deserving because of excellent service! ;-)

Ainsley from Derbyshire, United Kingdom

I thought if I opened your blog there might be a shiny red envelope for me :-D turns out its just a photo haha

26 Jan 2012 1:35pm

@Ainsley:'s the thought that counts! Thank you very much Ainsley! ;-)))

gootchai from bousval, Belgium

Superbe photo bien cadrée et quelle belle idée! j'aime!!!

26 Jan 2012 1:39pm

@gootchai: Merci beaucoup Marine! ;-)

Viewfinder from Bradenton, FL, United States

Rats! I guess the red packet/ya suo qiang sleigh missed my chimney this year.

26 Jan 2012 2:41pm

@Viewfinder:'s the thought that counts!! Thank you very much Glenn! ;-)))

Photographs by M.E. from San Francisco, United States

ohhhh! money, money! I hope you got many!!! You know the Chinese traditions - :)

26 Jan 2012 2:47pm

@Photographs by M.E.: Thank you very much Maria! These gifts are generally for those people in the service industry to directly reward them for good service during the prior year! ;-)

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

Beautifully done Eric!

26 Jan 2012 3:17pm

@Tracy: Thank you very much Tracy! ;-)

El pare from Prepirineu, Andorra

What an original and excellent tradition. Moments of joy and celebration should be shared.
Best wishes to you, Eric

26 Jan 2012 3:35pm

@El pare: So true my friend! Thank you very much Manel! ;-)

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

Where do we line up to get these?/ This is a great shot sir ;-)

26 Jan 2012 3:39pm

@Denny Jump Photo: Thank you very much Denny! These tokens of appreciation are generally reserved for those in the service industries to thank them for good service the prior year! ;-)

Mirjam from Kyiv, Ukraine

Wonderful traditions.

26 Jan 2012 3:40pm

@Mirjam: Thank you very much Mirjam! ;-)

Slackwater Don from Spokane, United States

A fine shot to illustrate this interesting custom.

26 Jan 2012 4:01pm

@Slackwater Don: Thank you very much Don! ;-)

Veronique from Suisse/, France

is this the amount you received ? :-))

26 Jan 2012 4:17pm

@Veronique: LOL .... malheureusement pas! Ces témoignages de reconnaissance sont généralement réservés pour les personnes dans les industries de services comme une gratification pour son excellent service à l'année précédente! Merci beaucoup Véronique!

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

We know more of these party full of happiness and joy... Best regards, Hiro, Adela

26 Jan 2012 4:30pm

@Adela Fonts: Thank you very much Adela! ;-)

Laur from Clermont-Ferrand, France

Belle présentation, merci pour les explications données!

26 Jan 2012 4:31pm

@Laur: Merci beaucoup Laurence! Oui, j'essaie toujours de donner une explication pour que le spectateur qui n'est pas familier avec le sujet peut mettre la photo dans un contexte significatif! Je suis heureux que vous ayez apprécié! ;-)

Heinz from Hamm, Germany

Sehr gut mit dem schwarzen Hintergrund.

26 Jan 2012 4:48pm

@Heinz: Vielen Dank Heinz! Ja, der schwarze Hintergrund wirklich lässt die kräftigen Farben leuchten!. ;-)

Marie LC from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

J'espère qu'ils sont gagnants !

26 Jan 2012 4:48pm

@Marie LC: LOL ... oui tout le monde est gagnant! Ces témoignages de reconnaissance sont généralement réservés pour les personnes dans les industries de services comme une gratification pour son excellent service durant l'année précédente! Merci beaucoup Marie! ;-)

franz from Baden, Austria

what a grand idea and what stylish and handsome envelopes!
(we have this custom, too, but it's more or less limited to kids when they come to wish a happy new year!)

26 Jan 2012 4:56pm

@franz: Yes, there is a lot of symbolism in this custom! Thank you very much Franz! ;-)

Lalena from Barcelona, Spain

Nice shot!!! I want one of these!!! :)

26 Jan 2012 4:59pm

@Lalena: does everyone today! Thank you very much Lalena! ;-)

dean musgrove from Simi Valley, United States

Love the colors and contrast.

26 Jan 2012 5:40pm

@dean musgrove: Thank you very much Dean! ;-)

Phil David Morris, 2012 from Saskatoon, New York, Canada

Its a start, keep it coming !!~

26 Jan 2012 6:34pm

@Phil David Morris, 2012:'s really the thought that counts!! Thank you very much Phil! ;-)

sien from Valkenswaard, Netherlands

Excellent image and a really nice composition Eric!
Wonderful traditions, well seen :-)

26 Jan 2012 6:48pm

@sien: Thank you very much Sien! ;-)

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

So, Good fortune to you and yours

26 Jan 2012 6:56pm

@Calusarus: Thank you very much Fred! Same to you and yours! ;-)

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

Striking against the black baclground!

So did Georgie give you your red envelope this morning? And more importantly, did she get hers? ;D

26 Jan 2012 7:57pm

@Judy aka L@dybug: Thank you very much Judy! Envelopes to be exchanged on Sunday! ;-))

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

I work in the service industry :-) :-) :-)

26 Jan 2012 8:18pm

@Denny Jump Photo: ROFL....... ;-)))

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

Beautiful shot! Now I definitely wish that we had that tradition!

26 Jan 2012 9:24pm

@Elaine Hancock: Thank you very much Elaine! You could definitely start it!! ;-))

RBL from Oxford, United States

Beautiful colors and composition, along with great information. This series is making me hungry for Chinese food (that's our local food take-out), love this series.

26 Jan 2012 9:57pm

@RBL: Thank you very much Ruthie! Glad you are enjoying the series! If you like Chinese food stay tuned for my series starting next Wednesday! ;-)

Dokmateo from Madrid, Spain

Thanks! Is that for me?!=))

26 Jan 2012 11:34pm

@Dokmateo: Thank you very much Dokmateo! Of course it is!! ;-))

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A lovely shot of these colorful gifts.

26 Jan 2012 11:45pm

@Steve Rice: Thank you very much Steve! ;-)

Isidro from Barcelona, Spain

I wish you and your family the best wishes of prosperity and wealth as we show the picture full of color and tradition!

27 Jan 2012 3:30am

@Isidro: Thank you very much Isidro! Hopefully the year of the dragon will bring healthy, happiness and prosperity to you and your family! ;-)

bluechameleon from Vancouver, Canada

Beautiful the vibrance!

27 Jan 2012 5:00am

@bluechameleon: Thank you very much Sharon! ;-)

Sam from Chennai, India

Beautiful colors and wonderful composition. Very nice tradition. Love it, Eric! :)

27 Jan 2012 4:47pm

@Sam: Thank you very much Sam! ;-)

janina from Melbourne, Australia

What a great idea ! This is a good pic, eric; love the colour and composition with the detail, well done! :OD

28 Jan 2012 8:35am

@janina: Thank you very much Janina! ;-)

1/80 second
ISO 3200
57 mm (35mm equiv.)