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Why do people give out red hong baos?

Find out how this tradition came about.

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Published: 16 Jan 2018


Time taken : <5mins

According to legend, there was a small village in China called Chang-Chieu. The villagers of Chang-Chieu lived in fear of a fearsome demon. Many tried to defeat this monster—even the strongest warriors were unsuccessful.

Along came a young orphan, armed with a very special sword. The sword had been passed down to him from his ancestors and it had magical powers. Wielding this sword, the young orphan fought the monster bravely. After a long and hard battle, he finally defeated the vicious demon. The villagers were so grateful to the boy for saving them that the elders decided to give him a red pouch filled with money to reward his bravery and effort.

Since that day on, elders giving out hong baos or red packets over the Chinese New Year has become part of Chinese tradition.


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