Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Red Packet


Chinese New Year falls on 26 January 2009 to welcome the year of the Ox. It's also the time of the year that I have to give my daughter, as customs befits, her red packet containing the auspicious amount of 8 pence (it could be cents or rupees for as long as it's eight or an unlimited recurrence of it). Being brought up as a Hokkien, these red packets are known to me as Ang Pow. General rule of the thumb suggests that peeps who are unmarried, like kids, bachelors or spinsters; are entitled to receive the gift of money from obligated relatives or friends. The Chinese, atheists or not, are a superstitious lot and the number eight reigns supreme; it signifies good fortune and wealth and its relevance should never be contaminated with the number 4 (together with death, they are homophonous words in Chinese). As this is my 88th posting for the blog, the subject is intentionally appropriate.

6 comments:

Lizzie said...

My parents gave up giving me lai see packets years ago :( hmmpppfff! Do you have any Chinese New Year foody plans?

bellaphon said...

Lai see, lovely term. I'm trying to avoid the last resort of instant noodles.

kang said...

I was brought up as a Hainam/Hakka and these little red things known to me as 'Hong Pao' .

I'd like £88 but I think I'm getting too old to be on the receiving end.

bellaphon said...

kang, as long as you're single, the entitlement is always deserved and regardless of age!

MsMarmitelover said...

In cooking recipes, there are approximately 8 pinches to a teaspoon

8 is a very interesting number.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8_(number)

bellaphon said...

Therefore 1/2 a teaspoon can only encourage an end of life.