26 Sep “Ang Bao”s In Singapore: Rates and More
“ang bao”s in singapore: rates, tradition and customs
If you’re going to be attending a Chinese wedding, or one involving a Chinese family, you’re going to be expected to give an ang bao, or red packet, to the newlyweds. We’ve noticed some confusion about the amounts involved in the giving of ang baos, so we’re here to give you a crash course on the tradition, concept and courtesy of the ang bao.
Ang baos are traditionally given as gifts during weddings and other events, most notably Chinese New Year. The red colour of the packets traditionally symbolises good luck, and is also said to ward off evil. When given at weddings, they show appreciation and goodwill for the newlyweds, and can be also used to offset costs.
EVENS ARE GOOD, BUT 4 IS BAD
Numbers are important in Chinese culture, and even numbers are lucky. Give amounts with even numbers (120, 160, 100, 188 etc.). Amounts that are even, but do not contain even numbers should be avoided (150, 170, 190 etc.). Amounts ending with the number ‘8’, are also good, and considered auspicious. But avoid anything involving the number 4, as its Chinese character sounds like the Chinese word for death, and is thus considered unlucky. In modern times, such numerology is usually seen more as tradition, rather than anything to do with luck, especially among the younger generation. So, while it is a good idea to stick to these rules, any slip-ups probably won’t be viewed offensively.
Though rather mercenary, it is still the common practice in Singapore to calculate how much one should put into ang baos for weddings, the aim to give the exact amount that offsets the costs you have incurred for the couple to have you at their wedding. Of course, this can be hard to do if you don’t know the exact cost of each table. So we’ve linked a website with a more-or-less comprehensive list of ang bao rates for quite a few Singaporean hotels. Here’s another with the rates for various restaurants. Just keep in mind that the giving of ang baos should be a show of appreciation and friendliness, and not a monetary transaction or a display of wealth.
In the end, giving ang baos should be a gift for the couple, a blessing from the heart. It’s not about the amount that you put into it, but the intention of it, a display of friendship between you and the couple. Much like a Christmas gift, it’s the thought that counts.
A QUICK NOTE
All the advice in this article is written in a Singaporean context, where such rules and customs are more relaxed. However, these customs are viewed more seriously in other Chinese countries, like China and Taiwan. So, if you’re headed to a wedding in such countries, it’s probably a good idea to do some extra research.
Anyway, we hope this article has helped you. If you’re looking for more information on weddings, check out our other articles. Looking for some friendly, professional videographers for your wedding? We got you on that, too! Thanks for stopping by!