Recognise meaning behind festivals

Mr Paul Chan Poh Hoi's letter on the rich cultural significance behind the tradition of giving hongbao was very enlightening ("Keep the original spirit of hongbao giving in mind"; Jan 25).

It is time that Singaporeans are educated on the historical origin of the practice, as many children and even adults today do not know the significance of giving hongbao, and take it as a financial transaction.

This need to always return to the original purpose of any practice can be applied to many other aspects of our life.

For instance, Labour Day was originally commemorated as a mark of solidarity among workers, but it has devolved into just another public holiday.

More thought should be invested when celebrating festivals so that we are reminded of their initial purpose and cultural significance.

This will ensure that we celebrate or commemorate events meaningfully.

Wu Yu, 12, Primary 6 pupil

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 01, 2017, with the headline 'Recognise meaning behind festivals'. Subscribe