Chinese Culture

All about Chinese New Year: Traditions, Hongbao (Red Envelopes), Greeting Phrases, Spring Festival

In this fun and relaxed chitchat style video with Luisa, we cover a wide range of topics all related to Chinese New Year traditions, activities and even Chinese New Year greeting phrases! We also talked about the origin of red envelopes, how we use them, and the “Modern Red Envelopes” on WeChat.

Some of the topics we cover are:

  • When do we celebrate Chinese New Year? What is the difference between the Gregorian and the Lunar calendar systems?
  • Do Chinese people celebrate the New Year that happens on Jan 1st according to the Gregorian calendar? New Year vs. Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival)
  • Which New Year is more important to Chinese Americans in the US?
  • What are Spring Festival Couplets?
  • 红包 (hóng bāo) – What is “Hongbao”? Why is it called Hongbao?
  • Are kids the only ones who receive red envelopes during the Spring Festival?
  • A surprising Hongbao custom in Guangdong
  • How much money do you put in a red envelope?
  • Northern China’s red envelope custom
  • Modern Red Envelopes – What is giving red envelopes in 2023 like for Chinese people?
  • How to send a red envelope on WeChat (Tutorial)
  • Different names of Hongbao
  • Chinese New Year Greeting Phrases – What are some Chinese greeting phrases we say to wish one another a Happy New Year? What is a formal New Year’s Greeting? Beginner-friendly New Year’s greetings.
  • Crazy Chinese New Year greeting phrases in text messages! 😱

NOTE: This video was filmed in Dec 2022. At the time of recording, there was a ban on lighting fireworks. The Chinese government has allowed fireworks to be set off at specific locations and times during the 2023 Spring Festival after many Chinese citizens expressed their desire for the tradition.