They came like a swarm of bees. Loud, chattering and giggling away, a pack of 10-15 HK girls flooded our office, rushing towards all married people and asking for red pockets (lai-see).
“JOIN US!!” they squealed in high pitched voices, tugging on my arm as I sat frozen at my desk, eyes staring widely back at them. “C’mon!! Come with us!!” Before I could respond – off they went, swarming towards the other end of the office to pounce on all the other married folks down the hall.
A few minutes later, my colleague throws down a stack of at least 10 red pockets on my desk. “See what you missed out on??” he smirked, before taking his earnings back to his desk. Another male colleague raced by, laughing, “It’s the duty of us unmarried people to take money from the married ones, muahaha!”
I shrugged, not feeling all that comfortable at the thought of asking strangers for money, but at the same time feeling a little gypped for not having tagged along.
The next day, I put aside my Western ways and went along with a few other colleagues who hadn’t collected their red pockets yet, and got a good portion of red pockets myself =). Apparently, it’s very good luck not only to take red pockets from the married people, but they too like passing them out. Every time we approached our ‘victims’, s/he always had a stack of red pockets ready to go. In a way, it was quite similar to Halloween, only, the “candy” was money and instead of costumes, all we had to say were some nice lines like “Stay beautiful all year” or “Earn lots of riches!” or “Best health to you”, etc.
Wah! So easy ar!!