|Flower Market / New Year Fair
||Traditionally, there is almost an equal share of flower kiosks and
kiosks that sell food items for Chinese New Year. Some toys to
keep the children happy too.
||There is still quite a lot of flower kiosks but almost
no one sells
new year related food items. Most kiosks sell toys and cheap
|"Lai See" / Red packets
||Money is put into a red packet called 'lai see' to give to children
and not married young people. Senior members of the family will
also give it to the close relatives regardless they are married or not.
'Lai see' can be hard or soft - hard means there is a coin in it and the
receiver will be quite disappointed because that means there is less
money in it. Needless to say, if your 'lai see' is soft, that
means there is a bank note in it and worth more than coins!
Lai see packets are typically short so if you put bank note in it you
have to fold the banknote in half first. You don't normally need
to buy lai see packets because banks and even big shops may give out lai
see envelops free.
|Nowadays, no one put coins in 'la see' any more.
The minimum amount to put in 'lai see' will be $10 (as of 2008). However, putting bank note in 'lai see' packet is
still not good enough. In the last ten years or so, the banks
start to issue new bank note around Chinese new year so that people can
use mint, good condition bank note for their red packets. I've
seen 80 year old lady walk up to the counter in the bank clumsily just
to try to change some new bank notes for this purpose.
Old style lai
see packets tend o be short and square (save paper?) Because we
now use new bank note, you don't want to fold it up and make a crease on
your perfectly new bank note, long bank note size red packets has
become very common.