红包 (hóng bāo), red envelopes, are envelopes containing money – often given away during the Chinese New Year.
Older people give them to younger people for luck, while the reverse brings longevity. On the first work day after the holidays, some companies will also give red envelopes to their employees.
The ancient custom was recently digitalized by the messaging app WeChat: The app allows users to send and receive money via a red envelope graphic (it’s also a payment app!) In group chats, the amount given is randomly distributed between the group’s members. This means everybody gets excited when a group member sends a red envelope – you only find out how much you get after you click it!
China’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign also touches the old traditions: It’s no longer considered appropriate for government officials to receive red envelopes, and public organizations don’t give any out either – that would be using public funds!
Also a big thing at weddings. Baidu Baike