What is a Red Packet?

Sweet Tangyuan 汤圆

This sweet dumpling soup is often served over the Chinese New Year as the Soft Dumplings clump up together at the bottom of the bowl. The soft and chewy rice balls have a sesame or peanut fillings with clear brown sugar syrup soup. The pronunciation and round shape of tangyuan are associated with reunion and being together. You can buy Tangyuan any time of the year in most Asian markets and come in a variety of different flavours, but the peanut one is still my favourite.

What are Red Packets


During Chinese new year as a kid I would go to each of my parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles and close family friends during Chinese new year greeting them with

“Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái, Hóng Bāo Ná Lái”
Which roughly meant
“Best wishes for the New Year, may I have my red packet please”?
it sounds a bit cheeky asking for money but this is excepted in Chinese culture and is seen as a traditional greeting.

The red packet or “Hong Bao” is traditionally given to children by parents, grandparents or by married people to single young adult.

No white or black coloured clothes!

Black and white are associated with mourning and funerals traditionally in the Chinese Culture.
So to start a new year it’s better to wear bright colours or red if possible.

In Chinese culture, the colour Red is associated with joy and good fortune.

About the author

Digital Designer and book author


I hope you enjoyed the book?

I’m a designer and illustrator originally born and breed in Bristol, in the united kingdom if I’m not hunched over a sketch pad or scribbling away on a tablet I’m hanging out with my young family and watching my son growing up.