Free Printable Red Money Envelopes – Chinese New Year Dragon

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These free printable Red Money Envelopes are perfect for the Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year! The little red envelopes are filled with money and are a traditional gift given to wish a healthy and happy new year. 

The printable has been updated to reflect the Year of the Dragon, which begins on 10th February 2024.

Read on to download the Chinese red envelope template and learn more about their use for the new year in Asian countries. 

Don’t have time for this printable now? Be sure to tap the heart icon in the bottom right of the screen to save this post for later!

Digital Representation of Free Printable Year of the Dragon Red Money Envelopes

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Red Money Envelopes

10 February 2024 is the start of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon!

Your Chinese zodiac is Dragon if you were born in one of these years: 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 200, 2012, and 2024.

We have been sharing Chinese New Year Printables since the Year of the Monkey in 2016, and these printables are updated annually to reflect that year’s zodiac animal.

It also happens that the Year of the Dragon was one of the first big things we celebrated on The Purple Pumpkin Blog back in 2012 with a Chinese Banquet!

If you are planning your own dinner party, be sure to take a look at these 50+ Delicious Recipes for Chinese New Year.


Legend of the Dragon

One day, the Jade Emperor said the zodiac order would be decided by the order in which the animals arrived at his party. He was confused that the Dragon did not win the race, afterall, and asked him to explain himself.

The Dragon explained that he had stopped to extinguish a fire in a farmers field and to blow the Rabbit across the river to the shore.

Impressed by the Dragon’s charitable nature, the Emperor placed the Dragon as the fifth of all Chinese zodiac animals.

Where are the Red Money Envelope Downloads?

  • You will find the download links at the bottom of this page, surrounded by a purple box.
  • Tap the purple download buttons to save the file(s) to your device.
  • Printables are available in two sizes – A4 and US Letter (8.5″ x 11″).
  • Download the size suitable for your printer.

What Are Red Money Envelopes?

The Chinese red envelope is filled with money and given on New Year’s Eve to friends and family to wish good luck for the year ahead.

Our take on these traditional red envelopes  (also known as red packets) is not just a nod to the rich Chinese culture but also a way to participate in a beloved tradition. 

The designs include a gold version of our Chinese Dragon Printable, as well as the Chinese characters 恭禧發財 that says Gōng xǐ fā cái or in English, means to wish prosperity and fortune.

The envelopes (or “hong bao”) are not just an ornate red pocket of paper; they’re carriers of good luck and wards against evil spirits. They’re adorned with auspicious symbols and phrases deeply rooted in tradition.

It is actually the red paper that is of the most importance and not the lucky money inside! The color red symbolizes happiness and good luck.

The tradition of red envelopes is one of the oldest stories of Chinese New Year, where the demon Sui haunted sleeping children.

To protect their son one Chinese New Year’s Eve, the parents gave him eight coins. Although he fell asleep, the coins, which were the Eight Immortals in disguise, emitted a bright light that repelled the huge demon.

These envelopes symbolize those protective coins, are sometimes called ‘yasui qian’, meaning “suppressing Sui money.”

In recent years, digital red envelopes have become popular, but the money given is still very real— a modern tradition for the digital age! It is a great way to still gift a red packet when you are unable to give a traditional one.

Who Do You Give A Red Packet To?

While the ancient story of the red envelope tradition is focused on young children, the envelopes can be given to anyone you know, from immediate and extended family and friends to acquaintances, work colleagues, and employees.

What differs is the amount of money that goes into the red pockets for each person.

Children and non-working young adults give good wishes to their parents and grandparents, and in return, they gift the red money envelopes to the younger generation, wishing them good fortune and good luck.

How Much Money Do I Put In?

Giving old money is considered bad taste, so it is customary to include new bills. In the run-up to the new year, you will see long lines at banks where people are exchanging their crumpled old bills for crisp bills.

The amount of money should reflect your relationship with the recipient and your own financial ability. Remember, it’s more about the sentiment than giving a lot of money! 

Traditionally, you always add 100CN¥ / $20 / £10 for your own children (up to any amount you like). For other children, like those of friends and colleagues, it would be 20-50CN¥ / $5-10 / £2-5. 

For older relatives, you always add 500-2000CN¥ / $100-300 / £55-220, while for young adult children in your family who aren’t working/still in school, you would always give 50-200CN¥ / $10-30 / £5-20

In accordance with Chinese beliefs, the money you put in should end with an even digit. Even numbers, except four, are better than odd.

However, the number four should not appear in the amount of money, such as in 40, 400, and 444— the word “four” in Chinese sounds like the word “death” and is considered to be very bad luck. For enhanced luck, place amounts that start or end with the number eight.

When Do You Give Red Money Envelopes?

Red packets are handed out during the 16 days of the Spring Festival of Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year celebrated in other Asian communities). This can be on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.

They are given and received with both hands—it is impolite to do so otherwise. You should always thank the giver and greet them with auspicious phrases; the most common is Gong hei fat choy (Cantonese), which wishes prosperity and happiness.

It is also worth noting that you should never open the envelope in front of the person who gave it to you. It should be done back at home or in private. 

The Chinese tradition of giving red envelopes is not only for the new year but for other special occasions such as a baby shower or birthday party and, of course, at Chinese weddings. 

Money envelopes can also be given at funerals, but they are white (which is the color for mourning and death and worn at Chinese funerals) and are offerings to the spirits of the deceased.

Digital Representation of Free Printable Year of the Dragon Red Money Envelopes

How To Make Red Money Envelopes

  • Print as many red envelope templates as you need onto good quality (120gsm/30lbs) thick paper or thin card and cut them out.
  • Score along the lines and fold the flaps towards the back, as shown in the image below.
  • Fix with a little bit of roller glue or double-sided tape.
  • Add some paper money, then fold the final flap down and seal it with some tape, or just slot it into place.

We will be updating all of our free printables for the Chinese New Year. Make sure you are a member of The Pumpkin Patch so that you don’t miss out!

Download Red Money Envelopes For Chinese New Year

We hope you enjoyed reading about this beautiful Chinese tradition and wish you success and good fortune this Year of the Dragon!

The downloads are in the purple box below. Click the purple download button link to save the printable file(s) to your computer.

Download Red Money Envelopes Here:

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The free printables are in PDF format and can be opened with the free-to-use Adobe Acrobat Reader (or other PDF Readers). If the download is a Zip File, it can be downloaded with WinZip, WinRar, or other software typically bundled on computers. Printables designed and created by The Purple Pumpkin Blog and its Designers are for PERSONAL USE ONLY and NOT FOR RESALE under any circumstances. Please read our full Terms and Conditions. You are welcome to print these free printables at an online print shop or print shop in-store if you don’t have access to a printer; however, some print shops may not print licensed characters. Colors may vary slightly on printing due to different screen and printer settings. You may share this free printable blog post on social media, including Pinterest, and on your blog/website with a link to this blog post. Please DO NOT share the PDF on social media or your blog/website. If you use any of our printables, it would be awesome to know about it! Post a picture on the social media platform you hang out on, and follow us on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest. Use the hashtag #TPPBprintables so we can find you!

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