Hopefully this question isn't too crass of me to ask...
April 28, 2006 12:59 PM   Subscribe

1 month chinese baby celebration question.

Ok, apparently the one month celebration for a newborn is a big deal in Chinese culture and I'm going to one tonight for a friend/acquaintance.

What is an appropriate amount of money to give in one of those red envelopes? I don't want to give too much, and seem extravagent (and hurt the wallet too much :) ), and I don't want to give too little and show disrespect.

Anyone have a range of amounts? I'm sorta lost. I figured at a wedding, you give about a 100? So I'm guessing 50?

This is in Vancouver, BC, and I'm married, and we are expecting, if that impacts the answer at all.
posted by eurasian to Society & Culture (7 answers total)
I can only guess, but this about.com article is pretty informative generally. My instinct is that the 2006 "reasonably generous but not extravagent" monetary gift for a child is $20 USD, so 20 or 25 Canadian really seems sufficient. 50 to me seems a bit steep if you've no formal relation to the child. Given its a one month old I'd hope they would eschew public ripping into the envelopes right there so everyone can compare how cheap everyone else is because you know someone is going to end up giving the last minute pocket change, a few singles or maybe a five.
posted by nanojath at 1:12 PM on April 28, 2006

Hmm, I asked some friends, they seem to think between 50-100. That sort of makes sense, since it's held in a big restaurant and all. Tricky, tricky :S
posted by eurasian at 2:56 PM on April 28, 2006

My chinese family member say that money must be given in "pairs", i.e., if you are giving $20, you should give 2 x $10 bills. Pairs are luckier, apparently.

Also, ref to the big restaurant affair, I haven't seen this at the one month celebrations, but at weddings the envelopes are totally opened at the table right at the entrance, where 3 or 4 guys will count the money and write down how much your family donated. True story.
posted by vignettist at 4:43 PM on April 28, 2006

family members
posted by vignettist at 4:44 PM on April 28, 2006

vignettist: Of course they count the money at the entrance. Or would you trust uncle Jianxiang with all that cash?
posted by sour cream at 11:32 AM on April 29, 2006

One of my best friends was the father at one of these ceremonies recently and he lamented about the cost of laying on the meal (his wife is really the strictly Chinese one, whereas he is more Westernized). He said that people tend to give what they think their share of the meal is plus perhaps a bit more, so $50 US would seem about right to me depending on how close you are.
posted by wackybrit at 1:21 PM on April 29, 2006

How close are you to the friend? Since you put slash-acquaintance I'm going to guess not very. Fifty is probably a decent amount. If it's a closer friend, maybe a bit more. Chinese people like the number 8 so an amount like $88 would be a bit special. (The number 8 represents fortune, more or less).
posted by edjusted at 5:44 PM on May 5, 2006

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