Ang pow rate for Chinese New Year 2020: How much these celebrities give

January 24, 2020
  • 1 / 5

    How much should you pack in the Chinese New Year red packets (also popularly known as hongbao and ang pow)? It’s a topic of deep interest every year — and we ask Singapore celebrities this hot question, and what they think of the hongbao-giving practice.

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  • Andie Chen, 34
    2 / 5 Andie Chen, 34

    “I give double-digit ang baos to friends and three-digits to family. In all, I probably spend four digits on red packets. I think the married rule is quite silly – that married people have to give ang baos to single people. It’s time for a rule update. It’s weird when your 40-year-old friend is receiving an ang bao from a 20-plus-year-old friend. In Taiwan, red packets are given only from working children to their parents and to kids below 16. I actually prefer that.”

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  • Romeo Tan, 34
    3 / 5 Romeo Tan, 34

    “I give my parents ang baos with $500 to $800 inside. I also give my niece and nephew red packets as blessings, with around $100 to $150. But instead of giving it to them directly, I pass the ang baos to my brother instead. I still accept red packets from my cousins, those who are closer to me in age, this, I’m not paiseh. But I won’t take any from my Ah Ma and elderly relatives, and I’ll give my Ah Ma a red packet, too.”

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  • Pan Lingling, 49
    4 / 5 Pan Lingling, 49

    “We hand out a lot of red packets, around a few thousand dollars each year, because we have a lot of relatives and friends. In fact, my favourite Chinese New Year tradition is giving ang baos. Every year, I feel so happy putting the notes inside the red packets, I love it. My husband (former actor Huang Shinan) is the ‘banker’ as he will change the new notes for me.”

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  • Xiang Yun, 58
    5 / 5 Xiang Yun, 58

    “I don’t give a lot, around $5 or $10 in each ang bao. The purpose of giving red packets is different now. It’s meant to be a blessing to the recipient, to wish them good luck. Of course, you don’t give an empty red packet, that would be too much. When I was a child, I received 20 cents ang bao, and after that, I gave the money to my mother for her to pack into ang baos for other people. Our family were poor and there were a lot of children among our relatives. There was joy in receiving and opening the ang baos.

    “Kids these days have a lot of money, so how much ang bao money is enough? I think what’s important is that they receive blessings from family and friends. I think we should inculcate the notion of wishing each other well during Chinese New Year.”

    A version of this article first appeared in Asiaone.

    (Illustration: 123RF.com; photos: Instagram)

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