SINGAPORE — With Chinese New Year just around the corner, the age-old question of how much angbao to give has sprung up again. On r/askSingapore, one Reddit user asked outright, “How much are you packing into your ANGBAO’s for 2023?”

The post owner continued, “I’m thinking $10 for smallest denominations, which is maybe 80% of all my angbaos. I have less than 10 pc $20 and fewer than 5pc $50 for super close family and friends. ‘Giant’ (to me) angbaos above $100 only 3 of them (elderly parents). Not sure if i’m cheap or generous. I think i’m average but can’t be sure.”

“Just give within your means – no need to overextend yourself to follow the mainstream,” answered one Reddit user, adding that “CNY Ang Bao is cultural significance.”

Another commenter wrote, “Give what you are willing to part with.”

That same commenter was also impressed with how much the post owner was giving.

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Another Reddit user listed a full rundown of what is usually in the angbao envelopes given to parents, children, siblings, cleaners, relatives, the children of close friends and everyone else.

A person who is “married with no kids” and who called this “the most bo hua combo for CNY,” wrote that he and his wife “have spent the last 6 CNYs overseas to avoid this angpao nonsense.”

Someone in a similar situation agreed. “i’m married with no kids too and i don’t give any ang baos except for my own parents. hate this stupid tradition.”

“$500 for total expenditure. Lowest denomination are $6 for those I meet once a year,” chimed in another.

In December, a blog post on Seedly offered this useful advice for angbaos.

No hard and fast rule says that you have to give at least $XX amount in your ang baos.

But, you should refrain from giving ang baos with amounts that end in odd numbers, like $5, or $7, as according to Chinese tradition, odd numbers are not auspicious.

You should also avoid giving ang baos with amounts that end in 4, like $4, $14 and $24 etc., as the number 4 sounds like die in Chinese.

Do avoid putting in coins as well.

Instead, you should give ang baos with amounts that end in 8, like $8, $18, and $28 etc., as 8 sounds like prosper in Chinese. In addition, the number 8 in Chinese culture symbolises wealth and success.

Ang Bao rates are, however, dependent on hierarchy….

That said, it should also depend on your financial situation, and you should always give within your means.” /TISG

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