Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Red Envelopes: The real reason for the chicken's road crossing

Today is the Lunar New Year, better known as Chinese New Year. As is customary among Asians, my father's family distributes red envelopes to mark the occasion. All in all, not a bad way to celebrate a holiday. Of course, as a single man, I *get* them rather than give them, which may have something to do with my view on the practice.

We actually never celebrate the New Year as a family on the real date, delaying instead until such a time as we can all assemble at one place, typically on a day of the ensuing weekend. This year it looks to be a lunch on Saturday. Lunches are good because, holiday obligations aside, my father's family is rife with all the kinds of division common to affluent Asian families. Many of us can barely stand the others, for reasons both petty and significant. Thus the more time efficient lunch setting is typically to be preferred over the more demanding formalities of dinner.

I'll talk more about my dad's family another time. For now, in honor of the holiday, it's enough simply to wish you all a happy New Year.


baileysMilk said...

its not called red envelopes. its called Ang-baos. or red packets...

LeperColony said...

They may not be *called* red envelopes, but they *are* red envelopes. Though packets works just as well.

What they are in Chinese I couldn't say.