In Chinese and other East Asian and Southeast Asian societies, a red envelope, red packet, lai see (Cantonese), ang pao (Hokkien) or hong bao (Mandarin) is a monetary gift which is given during holidays or special occasions such as weddings, graduation or the birth of a baby. Outside of China, similar customs exist across parts of South East Asia and many other countries with a sizable ethnic Chinese population.Red envelopes are gifts presented at social and family gatherings such as weddings or holidays such as Chinese New Year. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and is a symbol to ward off evil spirits. The act of requesting red packets is normally called tao hongbao (Chinese: 討紅包; pinyin: tǎo hóngbāo) or yao lishi (Chinese: 要利是; pinyin: yào lì shì), and in the south of China, lai see (Chinese: 逗利是; pinyin: dòu lì shì; Cantonese Yale: dau6 lai6 si6). Red envelopes are usually given out by married couples to single people, regardless of age, or by older to younger ones during holidays and festivals.
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