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Gift money

In China, what the children expect for the Spring Festival is the gift money. And it is typically a Chinese cultural phenomenon. In some families, no one is allowed to leave after the feast on the lunar New Year’s Eve. With everyone sitting around the table, the seniors provide the juniors with the gift money to encourage them do better in their studies and behave properly in the coming year. In other families, the parents put the gift money under the children’s pillows after they are sound asleep. In most families, children gather in the main hall, yelling with delight “Happy New Year to Grandpa, to Grandma, to Mommy and to Daddy!” they kneel down in lines, and stretch their hands out for red packets. Some even come to their grandparents’ bedroom and shout at the top of their voice, “Gift money, gift money!” the grandparents are still expecting a more exciting scene, so they pretend to be mean and bargain with the children until the children come around and fumble for the money. After getting the hard-earned money, the children disperse in a commotion. The old are overwhelmed with joy at the scene and regard it as a good omen for the new year.

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