Every January, people roll out the red carpet for the Chinese New Year. Glowing lanterns and dancing dragons flood the streets while fireworks blast off bad omens and make way for good luck and prosperity. 

Amidst these festive celebrations, another tradition takes place between family and friends, albeit more quietly: 

Chinese New Year red envelopes. 

It’s an age-old custom of giving money for good luck. And this year, you can join in too by sending a digital red envelope. 

We’ll show you how to gift your auspicious sum and wish the recipient much Kung Hei Fat Choy, or prosperity, with Braid Money Pools. 


  • When is Chinese New Year?
  • What is a Braid Money Pool?
  • What are digital red packets?
  • 3 fun facts about red envelopes
  • Do banks give out red envelopes?
  • How to create a digital red envelope with Braid
  • How to collect money for your red envelope
  • How much money do you put in red envelopes for the Chinese New Year?
  • How to send Braid Cash for the Chinese New Year

When is the Chinese New Year?

The Chinese New Year falls on the first day of the lunar calendar or one day after the first new moon of the year. In 2023, that day is January 22nd, which means you have ample time to set up and gift your digital red envelope(s) with Braid. 

What is a Braid Money Pool?

A Braid Pool is an effortless way to collect, manage, and send money with friends and family. Braid Pools can be used for one-off gifts, like digital red envelopes, and ongoing shared expenses. 

After creating a pool, you can invite others to join. Your group pays directly into the pool, and that's where your shared money lives until you send it as a digital red envelope.

What are digital red packets?

Digital red packets are just another way of saying digital red envelopes. Both contain good luck money and are given as an auspicious gift for the Chinese New Year.

3 fun facts about red envelopes

Are red envelopes new to you? Feel more confident participating in this long-standing custom with these three fun facts: 

  1. Traditionally, elders give red envelopes to younger family members. But nowadays, you can give them to friends and colleagues, too.
  2. Before mobile apps, people placed crisp new bills in red envelopes because old, wrinkly bills were considered unlucky. With Braid, you don't have to worry about that. Red envelope money is digital.
  3. Why red? In Chinese culture, this color symbolizes energy, happiness, and good luck. You’ll get to keep this tradition going with Braid. We’ll show you how below. 

Ready to set up your digital red envelope with Braid? Click here to learn more.

Do banks give out red envelopes?

Throughout Asian countries, banks provide red envelopes for free. However, this is less common in the U.S. But that shouldn’t stop you. 

As finances have expanded into the digital space, so have red envelopes. Already in January 2016, over 2.3 billion red envelopes were sent via WeChat, China’s most popular smartphone app. 

Here, you can send lucky money to anyone in the U.S. with Braid. It’s a modern take on an age-old tradition that feels just as festive.

How to create a digital red envelope with Braid

Would you like to send someone lucky money this Chinese New Year? It’s easy.

It takes 5 minutes or less to set up a festive Braid Pool that contributors will enjoy adding money to. From choosing your own color theme to adding images, creating a digital red envelope is fun. 

Pick a color

Red, more than any other color, is said to bestow happiness and blessings upon the recipient. For this reason, the red envelope is more significant than the money it holds. 

If you wish, you can select the color red for your Braid Pool, and keep this tradition alive.

Add an image to the Pool

Give your Braid Pool a special touch by including a fitting image or photo, such as the following festive suggestions:

  • Rabbits: Every new year is characterized by one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. 2023 is marked by the Rabbit, a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity. 
  • Dragons: These fiery creatures are said to scare off evil spirits and ward off bad omens. 
  • Chinese New Year imagery: Lanterns, fireworks, etc.

Your pool is always free, flexible, and separate from other accounts and ready to serve as a digital red envelope:

  • Free. Braid never takes a percentage of your pool funds, and you never pay for your pool. 
  • Flexible. There are no deadlines; you can keep your pool open as long as you want. Anyone can contribute without signing up or creating an account.  
  • Separate. Pool funds collect in a dedicated place and never mix with personal bank accounts.  

How to collect money for your red envelope

Once you set up your pool, collect money from everyone in your group by customizing and sharing your Pool Link. It’s simple. 

To customize your link, rewrite the pool’s auto-generated link. This way, it’s clear to everyone who receives it. 

For example, your Pool Link can say "braid.co/p/mari-lucky-red-envelope" rather than “braid.co/Jw5Fk7." 

From there, collecting money is easy: 

  • Share your Pool Link via text, email, or social media.
  • With your Pool Link, anyone can contribute to the pool.
  • Adding money by debit card is free. Contributors only pay a 3% fee if they add money via credit card.  
  • See contributions in real time by turning on instant notifications. 
  • Keep contributions in the pool for ease and transparency.

Click here to learn how to create a digital red envelope in time for Chinese New Year.

How much money do you put in red envelopes for the Chinese New Year?

The amount usually depends on your relationship with the recipient. If you’re unsure, consider these guidelines:

  • For children: $5, $10, or $20
  • For your close friends or colleagues: $10 to $30 
  • For parents or grandparents: $100 to $300 
  • For employees: $20 to $200 

Just be sure to never include the number “4” in the final sum. In Chinese, the pronunciation of “four” sounds similar to their word for death.

On the other hand, amounts with “8” are always welcome. This number is said to bring good luck and prosperity. 

How to send Braid Cash for the Chinese New Year

After collecting everyone’s contributions, it’s easy to gift your Braid Pool to friends and family without a Braid account. 

Braid generates a link for your pool, and all you need to do is text this link to the recipient, along with a personal message.

 You might even try to wow them by including an auspicious phrase, like: 

  • Worldwide peace: 天下太平 / tiān xià tài píng
  • Longevity and fortune: 千秋万岁 / qiān qiū wàn suì
  • Lucky money: 紅包 / hong bao

Would you like to participate in this special Chinese New Year tradition and send a digital red envelope?

Braid makes it easy to collect and send a lucky sum of money and your best wishes for a prosperous new year.  

Set up your digital red envelopes today!

Click here to get started