ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lai-see Money, Brand New or Good as New Banknotes

Updated on April 4, 2008
Lai-see, a special red envelope with money in it
Lai-see, a special red envelope with money in it

Lai See is the custom of giving a gift of money in special red envelope during the Chinese New Year's celebration. (See Chuck's hub: Chinese new year custom of Lai See Gifts)

In Hong Kong, it's a tradition to use brand new banknotes for lai-see, and most people use only new bills, because using brand new notes symbolises a new beginning, and the special efforts required to obtain brand new banknotes input some special meaning into Lai-see money. People spend the weeks before New Year visiting banks to get newly printed bills. Many banks announce when they will have new bills and people line up outside before they open in order to get some of the new currency. Because people know these effort is required in order to obtain new bills, the use of new bills conveys the message that the giver thinks enough of the recipient. In this sense it is the thought behind the gift rather than the value of the gift that counts.

Using brand new banknotes for lai-see puts a strain on the banks and especially on the central bank which has to print thousands of new bills each year.

The numbers of Hong Kong banknotes in circulation have increased from HK$78 billion to HK$149 billion, or from 836 million to 1,086 million individual notes over the past 10 years. The annual, one-off lai-see-related demand plays a significant role on this ever increasing demand for banknotes. To meet it Hong Kong Note Printing Limited has been trying to catch up by producing 300 to 400 million banknotes every year.

In 2007, the three Hong Kong note-issuing banks issued an additional 300 million brand new banknotes with an aggregate face value of more than HK$24 billion, most of those banknotes are low denomination bills, mostly ten-dollar and twenty-dollar.

Three hundred million banknotes weigh 300 metric tonnes, occupy 500 cubic metres of storage space, and could fill 20 twenty-foot containers. The three note-issuing banks need to arrange 500 trips with security escort to transport these brand new banknotes. it takes 400 metric tonnes of cotton to make the special paper needed to print 300 million banknotes.

Hong Kong government tried to persuade their people to use good-as-new banknotes instead of brand new banknotes for the sake of environments protection. The note-issuing bank prepare both good-as-new notes and brand new note for their customers, but tradition can't be changed overnight, people still seek brand new note.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      david brazier 

      9 years ago

      chinese new year money

      mr david brazier

      4vernon road gosport

      po12 3nt


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)