Netizens weigh in on the $4 Ang Pao debate while “secret rules” say $5 is the minimum

What would you do if you received a $4 Ang Pao?

Ah yes, another year, another round of Ang Pao. This tradition of gifting red packets has endured through the centuries, but social media has added another dimension to the practice.

Instead of cousins and immediate family discussing the contents of Ang Pao from your favorite Aunties and Uncles, people can now post their thoughts (and actual Ang Pao contents) online. Whether they gain sympathy or earn the ire of fellow CNY celebrants everywhere is of course, up to the internet mob.

Almost every year, you’d find young people posting their Chinese New Year hauls, and one post quickly went viral in 2018 for $2 Ang Pao!

The post was taken down after relatives messaged the person. Whether the recipient received a larger amount since that year or none at all, we will never know.

Is a $2 red envelope really that bad?

But even before CNY rolls along and everyone is forced to go home and face both relatives and traffic, people are already asking in 2020, “Is a $4 Ang Pao bad?”

Here are some reactions from netizens:

Some netizens said that they would post the received $4 Ang Pao on social media, rant about it, and doxx the relative. That could escalate really quickly.

While other commenters said that they should be thankful no matter what amount you receive.

Other people put the practie into perspective, especially those with large extended families who attend CNY festivities together.

This person compared the amount that their own parents gave their cousins while they did not receive the same amount at all.

Another commenter said that if you wanted to get red envelopes from local political leaders, then you should attend the CNY events they have for the poor.

This commenter had strong words for people who even make the contents of an Ang Pao an issue.

Another person pointed out that older people have a bad attitude about red envelopes, and don’t even say, “Thank you.”

This netizen said that even if you’re given only $4, you can eat a lot more in terms of snacks and food offered at your relative’s house.

While another person broke down the expenses involved in attending CNY activities with family, and how it related to Ang Pao. Talk about being economical here.

While someone pointed out why old people online still expected red envelopes.

Another person said that you should open all the money received in one go and it could add up.

There are actual CNY rules for Ang Pao?!

Meanwhile, a website published “acceptable” or “expected” rates for Ang Pao.

A photo from Asia One took into consideration the superstitions and traditions involved in Ang Paos, and made a handy illustration.

photo from

From the photo above, the minimum is $5, and sky’s the limit for your spouse! Your parents and grandparents should also receive an amount that ends in “8” for an auspicious year, and you can give as high as $10 to acquaintances.

Apparently, your own children should receive minimum of $50. Did we receive that much when we were younger?

What do you think of $4 Ang Pao, and what about the “rules?” Let us know in the comments!

Header image from Shutterstock.

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