Red envelopes always contain money in China, and are given, most commonly, to kids from their parents, grandparents, and others as Chinese New Year gifts.
They are called hongbao in Mandarin and lai see in Cantonese. The term “red packets” has also come into common use, though hongbao look and function more like envelopes than packets.
It is Chinese tradition to give children red pocket money during Spring Festival. The red pocket money means the good wishes to the children. But as the time went by, the amount of money needs to be added, and some people even judge a person by the money that he gives to the children. It has become a burden for the young people, because if they don’t give a lot of red pocket money to the children, others will look down upon them. For the young people, they are under great pressure. They need to pay for the house and meet the basic needs. Sometimes the pocket money may cost more than a month’s salary. What a great burden. The meaning of red pocket money is to bring luck to children, instead of asking for money.
Generally the amount of money wrapped in the red packets depends on your income. However, there is a custom that if you are not married, you need not send red envelopes to others. Generally, on Chinese New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day
There is a popular app in China called WeChat(if you are interested, download it in App Store). And when a festival or your friends’ birthday comes, you can send your friends red packets to wish them happy. Different amount of money has different meanings. For example, 520 means I love you and 66.66 means wishing your life goes smoothly without a hitch.