Chinese red envelopes — Hong Bao — are presented to family and friends during Chinese New Year. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck. Hong Bao are traditionally filled with money and given as well-wishing blessings for the New Year.
- Red construction paper
- Glue stick
- Some shiny coins or other gift items that will fit into the envelopes
1. Download the template from Lan Su Chinese Garden’s website at lansugarden.org/hongbao.
2. Print the template using a computer onto a red piece of construction paper.
3. Carefully cut along the outline and fold it along the dotted lines, folding in the direction away from the printed Chinese character.
4. Straighten the packet out again, and turn it over so you are looking at the side without the Chinese character.
5. Fold over flap A and apply a little glue from your glue stick on the right edge.
6. Fold over flap B and press it firmly onto the glued edge of flap A.
7. Apply a little glue to flap C and press it firmly onto flap B. Let dry.
8. Flap D is the top flap of the envelope and a little glue can be applied to seal it — don’t forget to put your money gift inside first before you give it away. You now have your Chinese Hong Bao or red envelope gift packet!
Maggie Lim is the program coordinator at Lan Su Chinese Garden, a botanical garden designed and built by artisans from Suzhou, Portland’s sister city that serves as a window into Chinese culture, history and way of thinking. The garden’s two-week-long celebration of Chinese New Year kicks off on February 19, featuring lion dances, lantern viewings and tea-time in the centerpiece teahouse. This year’s festival honors those born in the year of the ram, known to be sincere, persistent and quick.