【Editor's note】

  Year after year, the way of celebrating the Spring Festival changes. Since when did the family problem of "go to your house for the New Year or go to my house for the New Year" have a new solution; since when did the social relationships during the Spring Festival have been quietly reconstructed... Year after year, the same Spring Festival continues Witness new phenomena, give birth to new careers, and bring new feelings. China News Network launched the "New Spring Festival Illustrated Book" plan to record the changes in annual customs and freeze the changing China.

  China News Service, Beijing, February 10 (Shao Meng) "Why is the New Year's money rising higher and higher?" "It's too little to spend, and it's heartbreaking to have more." "The New Year's money has caught up with my monthly salary"... As the Spring Festival approaches, discussions about New Year's money are gradually heating up, and many netizens have posted on social platforms worrying about this.

  As one of the traditional customs, elders give lucky money to younger generations during the Chinese New Year, which is a "new year flavor" and represents expectations and wishes. But in recent years, in some places, the rising New Year's money has not only become a financial burden for the elderly, but also put a lot of pressure on many young people.

  It has become the common aspiration of many people to let the New Year's money no longer be "involved" and return to the original intention of connecting feelings and conveying blessings.

“After giving out the lucky money, the year-end bonus is gone”

  Visiting relatives and friends during the Chinese New Year should be a happy event, but 27-year-old Wang Yuxin has a headache. "My family has to give New Year's money to seven children, and my husband has to give New Year's money to five children, each of which is 600 yuan. The New Year's money given to relatives and children alone is 7,200 yuan. Some people's year-end bonuses are not that much."

  Red envelope prepared by Wang Yuxin. Photo provided by interviewee

  Wang Yuxin’s hometown is in rural Yuyao, Zhejiang. "When I was young, my elders basically gave me 200 yuan. I don't know since when, 200 yuan is no longer available. The minimum is 600 yuan, which can easily cost thousands. It's a lot of pressure for me at my age, let alone the people in the village. Old man."

  “Every year I can only go out but not come in.” It’s not that she has never thought about giving less, but on the one hand, she will be criticized by others; on the other hand, because her parents don’t agree, “The older generation wants to save face, so if I don’t give, they will give.” , each child is given 800 yuan to 1,000 yuan.”

  Zhou Zhen, who is over 70 years old, is deeply touched. The New Year's money he gives to his grandchildren has increased from 20 yuan to 100 yuan and 200 yuan now. "No one gets 50 yuan now. I mainly earn money from farming. I spend the most on giving out the new year's money. I have almost 20 grandchildren, granddaughters, and nephews in total."

  Wang Zhongwu, a professor at the Department of Sociology at Shandong University, told China News Service that the original intention of the New Year's money is to express wishes and expectations for children's health and happiness, and the original intention is good. However, in some places, the New Year's money has "raised all boats" and even caused a great financial burden on some families; there are also some people who compare with each other, making the meaning of the New Year's money somewhat "changed". This phenomenon deserves deep thought and review.

Refuse to compare with red envelopes, young people take action

  Among young people, some are troubled by giving red envelopes to juniors, while others have proposed some new ideas and practices.

  This is the case for Xiaofei from Chongqing. This year, she and her siblings have agreed to only send small red envelopes to their children, a total of 50 yuan, "just to make it lively and festive." Previously, according to the custom in her place, most of the New Year's money was 100 yuan or 200 yuan. She spent thousands of yuan on this every Spring Festival.

  "There are more than a dozen children, and some of them may only see them once a year, and they can't even be called by their names. But it's impossible not to give them, and I'm afraid of being criticized if they give less. This year I told them directly, and my relatives all agreed, This way, adults won't be so stressed, and children will be happy to receive the red envelopes," Xiaofei said.

  On social media, there are also many people who hope to go home during the New Year and give out New Year's money according to their ability. Everyone can be harmonious and happy, instead of being "kidnapped" by the trend of comparison and following the trend. "Don't make a fool of yourself" and "don't fight internally" they explained to each other.

  On social platforms, discussions about lucky money are gradually heating up.

  Wang Yuxin said that if she reaches the next generation, she will discuss with her relatives of the same generation to cancel the exchange of New Year's money or reduce the amount of New Year's money.

  She misses the New Year when she was a child very much. "The tradition in the past was that everyone could accept giving New Year's money to please them. I hope it can be implemented within our ability, and we should give it as much as we can, so that children cannot be deprived of the happiness of New Year's money. The amount of red envelopes is small." Something that is stress-free and festive, so why not do it?”

Experts: Persuasion can be achieved through advocacy of sexual norms

  In Wang Zhongwu's view, it is necessary to properly pour cold water on the trend of "a rising tide lifts all boats" with New Year's money to cool down the situation. "Giving and repaying, usually giving more when repaying, may form a vicious cycle. If not curbed, the amount of New Year's money may increase."

  He said that it is understandable for elders to give lucky money to younger generations, but it should be done in moderation, do not compare, do not follow the trend, and do not go overboard. There are many ways to express concern for children. If it causes pressure and burden on the family, or even affects your own life, it will do more harm than good.

  Wang Zhongwu said that giving out lucky money is a folk behavior and is spontaneous. “Everyone does this tacitly, and if you don’t do it, you’ll look out of place.” He suggested that relevant departments could introduce an advocacy norm and form soft constraints by referring to the method of managing weddings and funerals. Public opinion and society should dissuade unreasonable behavior and advocate moderation and stopping in moderation.

  China News Network has noticed that in recent years, many places across the country have been using various methods to guide people to give New Year's money appropriately. The Civilization Office of Fuyang City, Anhui Province recently stated in reply to questions reported by netizens that it will guide rural people to establish correct concepts about New Year's money; guide grassroots to incorporate the reasonable distribution of New Year's money into village rules and regulations; learn from and promote effective practices from other places, and promote rational thrift. Resolutely oppose comparison and waste. The "9 New Trends in Human Relations" released by Suqian City, Jiangsu Province in 2020 mentioned that "'New Year's money' does not taste bad and is not used to children."

  In addition, many places have also guided the masses to send New Year's money reasonably by issuing proposals and holding related theme activities, emphasizing that New Year's money "does not taste bad". (Some of the interviewees in the article have pseudonyms) (End)