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Demystifying Ang Bao Rates in Singapore [A Comprehensive Guide]

Demystifying Ang Bao Rates in Singapore [A Comprehensive Guide]

Have you ever wondered what Ang Baos represent? 

When I was a kid, I wondered what those red envelopes were. I didn’t give it much importance before as I was more excited about receiving actual gifts like toys or dresses.

Well, it turns out those are much more than just red packets.

What’s inside? Money!

But more than receiving the amount they hold, they bear more significance in every culture—especially in Singaporean tradition.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll tell you all you need to know about these red packets; what they represent, the giving and receiving etiquette, and the Ang Bao rates in SG.

Continue reading because you’ll surely need this guide when attending a special occasion.  

What do Ang Baos represent?

What do Ang Baos represent

In Singaporean culture, Ang Baos symbolize blessings, good fortune, and well wishes. 

Giving and receiving Ang Baos is deeply rooted in tradition and is a way to show respect and gratitude.

These are offered on special occasions like weddings, birthdays, Chinese New Year, and other joyous celebrations. 

More importantly, when you give someone an Ang Bao, you send your warmest wishes for a prosperous future and a reminder that you value their presence.

In other words, it embodies the spirit of generosity, respect, and heartfelt appreciation. 

Traditional Ang Bao Hierarchy

Traditional Ang Bao Hierarchy

Now that you know the significance of Ang Baos, let’s talk about the traditional Ang Bao hierarchy.

The hierarchy helps determine the amount of money to be given in the Ang Bao—based on the relationship and social status of the recipient.

Married Couples

Married couples hold a significant place in the Ang Bao hierarchy. 

Giving the newlyweds a higher amount is customary, as they are seen as starting a new chapter in their lives and may have additional financial responsibilities.

For example, if you’re attending a wedding reception, it’s common to give a more generous Ang Bao to help them start their journey together.

It’s also a way to show your support and blessings for their union.

Parents and Grandparents

Our parents and grandparents are considered the pillars of the family. They have played a significant role in shaping our lives and providing love and support. 

Respecting and honoring elders is an essential aspect of Singaporean culture. Therefore, they hold a special place in the hierarchy.

Giving a more substantial Ang Bao amount to parents and grandparents is common as a gesture of respect and appreciation for their guidance and sacrifices.

For example, during Chinese New Year, it’s customary for children to give Ang Baos to their elders as a token of respect and gratitude.

Friends and Colleagues

When giving Ang Baos to friends and colleagues, the amount can be more flexible compared to the strict hierarchy observed for married couples, parents, and elders.

The exact amount you give will depend on factors such as the level of your relationship with the person, the occasion, and your financial situation.

Remember, it’s not about the monetary value but the gesture of goodwill and celebration that matters most in these situations.

It’s just up to your friends if they’ll appreciate what you can give.

How much should you give? [Factors to Consider]

How much should you give [Factors to Consider]

When it comes to Ang Baos, it’s not just about the money.

You should consider several factors to strike the perfect balance between generosity and practicality.

Let’s explore these factors together so you can confidently give to ensure a joyous celebration for your recipient.

Relationship with Recipient

When deciding the amount to put in an Ang Bao, consider your relationship with the recipient.

A more generous Ang Bao amount might be appropriate for close family members like siblings or cousins, reflecting the strong bond and closeness you share.

Similarly, for close friends who have been there for you through thick and thin, a heartfelt gesture of appreciation can be shown by giving a larger Ang Bao.

For acquaintances or distant relatives, a smaller amount can still be a thoughtful gesture without straining your budget.

Occasion and Event

Another factor to consider is the occasion or event for which you’re giving the Ang Bao. 

As I previously mentioned, weddings are significant milestones in a person’s life, and giving a higher Ang Bao amount to the newlyweds is customary.

But the exact amount will still depend on your relationship with the couple, the wedding venue, and your personal budget.

Sometimes guests give an amount that helps cover their share of the wedding expenses.

For major festivals like Chinese New Year, the amount given can vary depending on family traditions and personal customs.

After all, it’s a time of celebration and renewal, so giving an Ang Bao is a way to share the joy and good wishes for the coming year.

Personal Financial Situation

While it’s essential to consider the relationship and occasion, setting a budget and avoiding overspending or stretching yourself thin is essential.

This should be a guiding factor when determining the amount to put in an Ang Bao.

Giving a smaller amount is perfectly acceptable if that is what you can comfortably afford.

Ang Bao rates combine cultural customs, personal relationships, and financial considerations.

As long as the gesture comes from the heart, your Ang Bao will be received with gratitude and happiness.

Average Ang Bao Rates for Different Occasions

Average Ang Bao Rates for Different Occasions

While there are no fixed rules when it comes to Ang Bao rates, having a general idea of average amounts for different occasions can be helpful.

Keep in mind that these amounts can vary based on factors such as personal circumstances, cultural practices, and regional customs.

Here’s a rough range of average Ang Bao rates for some common occasions:

EventsAverage Ang Bao Rate
Chinese New YearAdults:


Baby ShowerS$20


For weddings, the average Ang Bao amount per guest can range from S$50 to S$200 or more, depending on the venue, relationship with the couple, and personal budget.

Chinese New Year

During Chinese New Year, Ang Baos are commonly given to family members and close relatives.

The average Ang Bao amount for these individuals could be around S$10 to S$50 per person. The amounts can be smaller for children, usually ranging from S$2 to S$10.


When it comes to birthdays, the average Ang Bao amount depends on your relationship with the birthday celebrant.

For close friends or relatives, an average amount could range from S$20 to S$100 or more, depending on your budget and level of closeness.

Baby Shower

Similarly, the average Ang Bao amount can range from S$20 to S$100 or more for baby showers.


Housewarming parties are another occasion where Ang Baos are commonly given.

The average Ang Bao for a housewarming gift could range from S$20 to S$50 or more, depending on your relationship with the homeowner and your budget.

Auspicious and Inauspicious Numbers

Auspicious and Inauspicious Numbers

Numbers hold significant meaning and symbolism in Chinese culture, and this significance also extends to Ang Baos.

Remember, the choice of numbers in Ang Baos is deeply rooted in cultural beliefs and superstitions.

It’s always a good idea to be mindful of these customs to show respect and consideration to the recipient.

Let’s take a closer look at which numbers are considered auspicious and which ones should be avoided when giving Ang Baos.

Auspicious Numbers for Ang Baos

Auspicious Numbers for Ang Baos

Certain numbers are believed to bring good luck and prosperity, making them highly auspicious choices for Ang Baos. Here are a few examples:

Number 8

In Chinese culture, the number 8 is associated with wealth and prosperity. It is pronounced as “ba,” which sounds similar to the word for prosperity or wealth. 

Giving an Ang Bao with the number 8 is considered highly auspicious and signifies blessings of abundance.

Number 9

The number 9 is associated with longevity and eternity. It sounds similar to the word “jiu,” which means longevity.

Ang Baos containing the number 9 are often given to wish the recipient a long and fulfilling life.

Number 6

In Chinese, the pronunciation of the number 6 is similar to the word for smooth or flowing.

It is considered auspicious and is often associated with good luck and harmony. 

Including the number 6 in an Ang Bao can symbolize wishes for a smooth and prosperous journey in life.

Inauspicious Numbers to Avoid

Inauspicious Numbers to Avoid

Just as there are auspicious numbers, there are also numbers that are considered inauspicious or “unlucky” and best avoided when giving Ang Baos.

Here are a couple of examples:

Number 4

The number 4 is considered unlucky in Chinese culture because its pronunciation is similar to the word for death.

It is best to avoid using the number 4 in Ang Baos, as it may convey negative connotations or be seen as inauspicious.

Number 7

The number 7 is associated with loss or separation. It is believed to bring negative energy or create obstacles.

In some cases, number 7 may not be universally regarded as inauspicious. 

However, it is still wise to be cautious and consider the recipient’s beliefs when deciding on the numbers to include in an Ang Bao.

Is there an age limit to receiving Ang Baos?

Is there an age limit to receiving Ang Baos

Traditionally, Ang Baos were primarily given to children and teenagers as a symbol of blessings and good wishes.

However, times have changed, and nowadays, the age limit for receiving Ang Baos has become more flexible, so there is no age limit.

In modern Singaporean culture, some families and friends may continue the tradition of giving Ang Baos to children and teenagers exclusively. Others might extend the gesture to include young adults.

It all comes down to personal preferences and the customs of the people involved. 

Ang Bao Opening Etiquette

Ang Bao Opening Etiquette

In more formal settings, such as weddings or significant events, keeping the Ang Bao unopened and placing it aside for later is generally considered polite.

On the other hand, in casual settings or among close friends and family, it’s often acceptable to open the Ang Baos on the spot.

But it actually depends on personal preferences and the nature of the event.

Either of the two opening etiquettes of Ang Bao adds an element of joy and excitement to the occasion, as everyone can share in the recipient’s happiness.

Where You Can Get Free Ang Bao Sleeves

Where You Can Get Free Ang Bao Sleeves

If you’re wondering where to get free Ang Bao sleeves, there are various places where you can find these sleeves without spending a dime.

Banks and Financial Institutions

During festive seasons, banks and financial institutions often offer complimentary Ang Bao sleeves as a promotional gesture.

Retail Stores and Shopping Malls

Retail stores and shopping malls also join in the festive spirit by providing free Ang Bao sleeves as part of their promotions.

You can look out for displays or check with customer service to find out if the store offers any Ang Bao sleeves freebies.

Online Resources and Websites

The internet is a treasure trove of resources, including free templates and designs for Ang Baos.

For a more convenient and cost-efficient option, here are some of the websites where you can download and customize your Ang Bao sleeve templates: 


A friendly reminder: You should check the terms of use for each website and ensure that you comply with any licensing requirements when using the templates.

Are e-Ang Baos acceptable?

Are e-Ang Baos acceptable

Electronic Ang Baos or e-Ang Baos are widely accepted and have seamlessly integrated into traditional customs and etiquette.

They offer convenience, especially when distance or time constraints make physical exchange difficult.

With the rise of digital payment methods and online transactions, sending e-Ang Baos has become common. 

E-Ang Baos have become a practical and efficient way to convey blessings and share the joy of special occasions.

Etiquette for Sending and Receiving e-Ang Baos

Etiquette for Sending and Receiving e-Ang Baos

Even if delivering an e-Ang Bao is already a generous gesture, there are still some etiquette to keep in mind because you won’t see the receiver in person. 

To keep the human touch while sending your e-Ang Bao, follow these guidelines:

1. It’s best to send the recipient before or on the actual day of the occasion to maintain the element of surprise.

2. Avoid sending e-Ang Baos too early, as it may diminish the excitement.

3. Choose an appropriate and secure online app transfer for your e-Ang Baos.

4. Ensure your receiver also has the same platform and existing account.

4. You must refrain from sending e-Ang Baos through casual messaging apps or social media platforms, as it may not convey the same level of formality and respect.

5. Don’t forget to add a simple dedication note before sending your e-Ang Bao.

And there you have it—that’s everything you need to know about Ang Bao rates and customs in Singapore! 

I hope this essential guide has provided you with valuable insights and clarity about the culture and practices surrounding Ang Baos in the country. 

Remember, while there are general guidelines, the spirit of giving and well wishes is what truly matters!