In Chinese and other Asian societies, a red envelope, red packet or hongbao as a gift which is given during Chinese Lunar New Year or special occasions such as weddings, the birth of a baby. Red envelopes are gifts presented at social and family gatherings such as weddings or on holidays such as the Chinese New Year. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits. The act of requesting red packets is normally called tao hongbao (Chinese: 討紅包; pinyin: tǎo hóngbāo) or yao lishi (Chinese: 要利是; pinyin: yào lì shì).
During the Qing Dynasty, the elderly would thread coins with a red string. The money was referred to as "money warding off evil spirits" (Chinese: 壓祟錢; pinyin: yāsuì qián) and was believed to protect the person of younger generation from sickness and death. The yasui qian was replaced by red envelopes when printing presses be