Old habits die hard? Why still give out physical hongbao and new notes?

Despite the loud call of environmental consciousness, it’s not easy to resist the silent stickiness of paper packets with hard cash

Slipping hard cash into paper packets as gifts has been a time-honoured tradition for the Chinese during this annual festive season. ST FILE PHOTO
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With yet another Chinese New Year just around the corner, it’s that time of the year again when queues snake around ATMs and bank branches as people seek out new notes for red packets (hongbao).

Slipping hard cash into paper packets as gifts has been a time-honoured tradition for the Chinese during this annual festive season. But this ritual is common among other cultural groups too. Muslims give out green packets containing cash during Hari Raya Puasa, and likewise, Hindus hand out purple packets for Deepavali.

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