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Reason Koreans give money in white packet on Lunar New Year?

Discussion in '한국어 (Korean)' started by rednada, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. rednada New Member

    Why do Koreans give children allowances in white packets during lunar new year?
  2. blueeyedtimothy New Member

    I have only seen it as a gift "good luck money" for the Lunar New Year when the children have shown respect to their elders (bowing to your elders). Some of my friends families don't practice this and some do.
  3. thighgap New Member

    Lunar New Year is one of the most festive seasons in Korea.

    It is a traditional custom for Koreans to have a family gathering on a lunar new year.

    3 days national holiday is allocated for Lunar New Year, and usually the first and the third day are spent travelling back to hometown.

    When the family gathers, everyone meets up as a big family.

    On the New Year, working Korean adults give the children allowances, oftentimes rather hefty amounts, so as to show love for relatives.

    The money is mostly passed in white envelopes, as white is considered as a colour that symbolizes purity and thus is a colour to put money in, regardless of occasion.

    In fact, almost all the money is enveloped in white colour, be it a sad or a happy occasion.

    For instance, white colour envelope is used on festive seasons like the Lunar New Year, or even on tragic days such as funeral.

    The white envelope has become so widely used and it is in fact almost odd to use a colored envelope.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  4. alohaoe Member

    Hello, I'm an ordinary Korean.
    I've never heard of the custom of using white-colored envelopes when giving allowances(세뱃돈) in Lunar new year holidays.
    Envelopes are used for not showing the amount of money they give, which is considered an etiquette, and it's just a coincidence that they are white.(white envelopes are most common)
    However giving allowances in Lunar New Year's holidays are so casual and the amount is also a trifle that you may often see money being given without any envelope enclosing it.

    Rather, collecting allowances in 복주머니(pocket of luck) is an old custom.
    See images:
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014

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