|The Chinese Lunar calendar begins on Saturday, January 28, 2017, with the year of the Rooster. A celebration of the Spring Festival continues until the Lantern Festival on February 11, 2017.
In Vancouver, we enjoy the 44th Annual Chinatown Spring Festival Parade
This year it takes place on Sunday, January 29, 2017, at 11 am. The parade starts at the Millennium Gate on Pender Street.
For more information on this event visit the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver’s Website
Today we spotlight the tradition of giving Lai See.
- Translated lai see (or hong bao in Mandarin) is lucky money, and these red paper envelopes are given at family and social events.
- Aside from Chinese New Year lai see are also given at weddings, graduations, and the birth of a baby.
- Lai see are gifts given to a junior from a senior such as relatives to children, bosses to employees, and to any service staff, you see regularly.
- The contents should be a single crisp bill of an even denomination; odd numbered monetary gifts are associated with funerals.
- Avoid 4’s as they are bad luck, the pronunciation of 4 is close to the word “death.”
- Never give empty lai see or an envelope containing coins.
- If you don’t feel comfortable giving Lai See you can give a gift of sweets that are red or gold.
- If you are bestowed with prosperous wishes and lai see, accept it with two hands and tuck it away to open at home. It is favorable to shake hands and wish a happy new year by saying Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin) or Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese).