Image by Bloc Memoire Photography
Ang bao giving can be a rather complicated business, especially if you want your ang bao blessing to be of a particularly auspicious manner.
We know the number 8 is recommended because it sounds like ‘huat’ in Chinese dialect, and to ‘huat’ (i.e: to prosper) means everything to Singaporeans.
We also know even numbers are preferred because of the Chinese saying “Good things come in pairs”, like the pairing of husband and wife.
This is linked to the meaning behind the Chinese character ‘shuang xi’ – double happiness – of how your joy and happiness has doubled with your marital pairing.
Layman knowledge aside, we decided to check in with an expert for an official take on this.
Feng shui consultant Wilfred Leu, who has more than 13 years of experience in the industry, shares with us the best ang bao amounts to bless others with during a wedding so that we can all prosper in double happiness:
Ang bao for tea ceremony, parents and relatives
Wilfred says: “Numbers ending with 8s and 6s are auspicious as they represent wealth and salary.
The numbers 138 means wealth for entire life, while 168 means wealth all the way. I generally like both 168 and 188.”
Ang bao for banquet
Wilfred says: “This depends on the location and budget of individuals but amounts ending with the numbers 8 and 6 are preferred.
226, 228, 238, 268 and 288 are auspicious numbers.”
Ang bao for your gatecrashers and helpers
Wilfred says: “Same thing applies. Your ang bao amount should end in 8s and 6s.
This also depends on the budget of the couples but I would recommend figures like 48, 68 and 88 for your bridal party.”
Wilfred Leu uses the feng shui system established by the Chinese Imperial Palace in both the Qing and Ming dynasties - “The Imperial Complete Books of the Four Repositories”, "The Complete Collection of the “Imperial Encyclopedia” and “The Yongle Encyclopedia”. These more methodical systems were considered "official" in those times.
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