Life in China: A Picture a Day 2016, January 15 -On Chinese New Year, it is a tradition for working adults to give cash-filled “hong bao 红包,” red envelopes or red packets, to children and other relatives. Who exactly gives and receives seems to vary quite a bit. Companies also usually give red envelopes to their employees. The traditional custom stresses that it is the red envelope that is important, wishing good luck and prosperity to the recipient, and the cash inside is just to make them happy. However, in our currently growing “digital age,” the past couple of years have seen a huge increase in people sending “lucky money” via mobile apps – I guess the importance of the red envelope itself is changing? The amount given should end in an even number, and not have any “4’s” in it, as “4” is unlucky in China. The money given should be new bills, and no coins. It is impolite for the recipient to open the envelope in front of the person who gave it to them. Red envelopes are also given for weddings and sometimes birthdays.