Ang Pao was the best part of Chinese New Year, that was till you transition from a recipient to a giver. If you stumble upon this article, your curiosity on Ang Pao rates from google search sends you here or you could be a newlywed pair handing out Ang Paos for the first time.
During Chinese New Year, the inflation rate may affect the amount of money people give on Ang Paos. According to a report by The Edge Market, inflation is seen at 2.8%-3.3% during 2023. So, how much money is the right amount? Too little might be seen as inconsiderate, while too much could be seen as ingenuine.
TL;DR: Here's a simple guide if you're new to this or still unsure how much to give.
Parents, In laws & grandparents
RM100 - RM800
Your parents deserve the best after raising you, as a sign for filial piety parents undoubtedly should get the most.
RM50 - RM200
While there are certainly parents who contribute more, this is the norm. Grandparents often use this rate as well.
RM20 – RM50
This is a safe and reasonable amount to give whether they are working or too young to work.
Unmarried Cousins/ Nieces/ Nephews/Peers
RM10 – RM20
Do I have to provide Ang Pao to adults who work? If you can, give. After all, it is as much a blessing for the giver as the recipient.
Friends/ Children of friends
RM5 - RM20
If you have a small family, you would contribute most to these individuals. Therefore, keep the budget minimal for this.
RM5 - RM10
This applies to company owners with employees or if you come across workers who clean your housing area, relatives' domestic helpers, etc.
Ang Pao rates are dependent on hierarchy. As seen above, closer people get greater Ang Pao rates.
In Chinese culture, they like homophones, which are "pairs of words that sound the same but have different meanings and different spellings." Numbers are considered lucky or unlucky based on the word that they sound similar to.
Avoid giving Ang Pao(s) that end in 4, RM (4,14,24, etc.). The number 4 is considered an unlucky number in Chinese because it is nearly homophonous to the word "death" (死 pinyin: sǐ; Cantonese: séi).
Instead, ang baos with amounts that ends with 8, RM (8,18,28) and so on are highly likable. The ever-popular number 8 sounds like "發" (pinyin: fā; Cantonese: faat) “to prosper”. Not to mention, number 8 in Chinese culture symbolizes wealth and success.
Combinations of these numbers are deemed as lucky numbers too, such as 88 and 168.
88 - Due to its visual resemblance to 囍, 88 can also represent double prosperity.
168 -has a similar pronunciation to - 路发 (pinyin: yi lu fa, Cantonese: yat lou faat), which means all the way to financial success.
Remember, this is merely a guide. Money should be given sincerely, and you should only give what you can afford. As you hand them out, say something nice to the receiver, such as
Gong Xi Fa Cai: “Wishing you wealth and prosperity”
Cai Yuan Gun Gun: “May wealth come pouring in”
Shi Ye Fa Da: “May your career to take off”
Xin Xiang Shi Cheng: “May all your wishes come true”
Shen Ti Jian Kang: “Wish you good health”
If you are one of the lucky few who are still receiving them this year, you might want to find out how to grow your money with Capsphere.