Ringing in the 'Year of the Ox' | February 5, 2021 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 5, 2021

Ringing in the 'Year of the Ox'

Palo Alto nonprofit WizChinese organizes dumpling making, fortune telling, red envelope giveaway and more

by Sue Dremann

Chinese New Year celebrations in Palo Alto won't be slowed down by the coronavirus in 2021. They're just moving to a different platform.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at [email protected]


Posted by PA resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 6, 2021 at 1:32 pm

PA resident is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 6, 2021 at 4:18 pm

Longtime Resident is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by Suzy B.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 7, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Suzy B. is a registered user.

One nice tradition of the Chinese New Year are those little red envelopes filled with a $20.00 or even $50.00 bill that the Chinese hand out to their friends wishing them a prosperous new year.

I received a couple of them from my recently arrived neighbors and one had a C note inside. I was flabbergasted.

When I thanked my neighbor for her kindness and generosity, she replied that money was not a problem in their household and they enjoy handing it out during new years time.

So all things considered, may we have more Chinese residents in Palo Alto as my regular long-time neighbors have never offered me as much as a penny.

Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 7, 2021 at 10:24 pm

Longtime Resident is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by Emily Craig
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 8, 2021 at 8:27 am

Emily Craig is a registered user.

My 10-year old daughter also received a little red envelope from one of her Chinese classmates.

It had a five dollar bill enclosed. What a nice gesture of best wishes for the new year!

@ Suzy B. - some of our other neighbors seem more preoccupied with preserving NIMBYism than partaking in the rich and emerging ethnic diversity of Palo Alto.

I imagine they were also the ones who protested the opening of Foothills Park to non-residents and other ethnicities.

Next year and at my daughter's suggestion, we are also going to disperse little red envelopes to celebrate the new year. They can be purchased at Chinese specialty gift shops.

That said, there are a couple of neighbors who we will not be passing them on to.

Posted by Monica Yeung Arima
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 9, 2021 at 6:12 pm

Monica Yeung Arima is a registered user.

It’s the gesture that counts. I used to have a Chinese New Year party at my house when my son was young. I gave out red packets to all the children and so did the other patents, so the kids were having fun collecting money. Its usually a $1 bill as a token. It’s a lucky symbol.

In school, I gave out red packets with a chocolate coin inside. Children love them.

Come join us for a fun loving event making dumplings. There’s many prizes to share. It’s a great children activities on the weekend. You can preorder a kit to participate at the event if you worry about starting from stretch. $10 a kit that comes with the fillings and wrappers. Please register at the WizChinese.org/CNY-fair/

Posted by Jacob Epstein
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 10, 2021 at 10:18 am

Jacob Epstein is a registered user.

The handing out of red envelopes filled with currency to wish others a prosperous new year is an enduring and considerate gesture of the Chinese culture.

Very few Republicans would consider such a seasonal practice.

Posted by JuJu Wang
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 11, 2021 at 7:15 am

JuJu Wang is a registered user.

The custom of passing out red envelopes with money inside to celebrate New Years is more of a Cantonese tradition than a Mandarin one.

The People's Republic of China discouraged the practice of older Chinese customs and as a result, many of the recent and younger Mandarin immigrants to the peninsula are unfamiliar with them.

On the other hand, they are much wealthier many having operated lucrative manufacturing sites in China producing consumer goods sold worldwide.

The majority of current Cantonese can trace their roots back to the gold rush days and working on the Transcontinental Railroad for Leland Stanford, Colis Huntington, Mark Hopkins and Charles Crocker.

Unlike many of the recent SF bay area Mandarin residents from the People's Republic of China, the Cantonese arrived here poor.

The custom of distributing little red envelopes offered hope for future prosperity.

Most Mandarins residing in Palo Alto, Los Altos and Mountain View are already wealthy so they can afford to easily ignore this tradition.

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