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The Red Envelope Collection

About this collection

In several Asian cultures, a red envelope or red packet is a monetary gift which is given during holidays or special occasions. This custom of giving red envelopes is referred to as hóngbāo in Mandarin, angbao in Taiwanese and Singaporean Hokkien, angpau in Min Nan, lai see (利市/利是) in Cantonese, lì xì in Vietnamese and sae bae don (세뱃돈/歲拜돈) in Korean.


Red envelopes are mainly presented at social and family gatherings such as weddings or on holidays such as the Lunar New Year. The red colour of the envelope symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits. 


This collection begins with the digitization
of Chinese red envelopes.  The giving of red envelopes is an embedded part of Chinese culture and represents a tradition practiced for hundreds of years, and one that has been passed from generation to generation. However, original meanings  and the reasons behind the practice is becoming lost due to lack of formal documentation of the history of the tradition.  In order to ensure evidence of the existence of this tradition and to preserve its history, we have embarked on this project.


Thank you for visiting our collection.  We hope you enjoy it.


 
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