SINGAPORE: With Chinese New Year just around the corner, many are finalising their preparations for the celebration. Giving a money gift, or ang pow is a common practice in Chinese culture. But how much is one expected to giver, per red packet?

A Singaporean online who asked how much people would put in their ang pow envelopes received answers ranging from S$2 to S$1000.

According to the National Library of Singapore, hongbao (ang pow in Hokkien) is a money gift that is packed in a red envelope. In Chinese culture, the colour red is believed to be a symbol of good fortune, life, and happiness. During celebrations such as weddings and Chinese New Year, these are typical gifts to give.

However, in line with tradition, there are certain practices that people observe when giving out these gifts for Chinese New Year. One of them is that adults who are married should give out ang pow to “unmarried, younger siblings or cousins, and on rare occasions, to older unmarried nephews,” though they are not expected to do so for relatives who are older and unmarried.

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In addition, the amount of money in the red envelope must be an even number, in line with the belief that odd numbers are considered unlucky.

A Singaporean turned to others in an online forum on Thursday (Jan 25) asking, “Married people, how much are you going to put in your ang pow What is the current going rate now? $4?”

Answers left in the comments of the thread varied. “It depends,” said one. “Rando/relatives long long time never meet, too distant whatever – $6. Closer relatives – $10/$20.”

Another said, “Always $2.” A third shared, “$4 for those relatives that I only meet once a year, $20 for those close ones.” Still, a fourth brought things up a notch by writing, “$1000. I don’t use red packets, I use red pouches.”

One commenter thought outside the box, asking, “Can we use coupons instead of money?”

With prices going up everywhere, and other factors such as the GST hike, Singaporeans have a heightened awareness of what they spend on. There have been many recent reports of how Singaporeans are reacting to changes in the economic landscape.

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One man, for example, took to an online group, claiming to have been charged $1.20 for youtiao at a hawker centre. He argued that with the rise in prices all over the country, even “poor man’s food (has now become) so expensive.”

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Another online user recently shared her shock over an order of fries from a fast food establishment, claiming that despite paying S$4.60 for large fries, she only received a serving that she described as “only half.”

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Still, transport company Westpoint Transit caught the attention of many with their bus driver job listing that offered a S$5000 salary with a S$10000 bonus.

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