Woof! Who & How to Give Red Envelopes in 2018 Chinese New Year

Two corgis giving year of the dog red envelopes

This Chinese New Year is the year of the dog, and we have so many cute dog-themed New Year’s cards and red envelopes that you’ll want any excuse you can get to send them! Should they be for family, friends, kids or employees? Here’s how and who to give cards and red envelopes this Chinese New Year!


👲 For friends: just to wish them a happy CNY, and for fun

As traditional as red envelopes are, nowadays there are so many cute designs that it’s difficult to reserve them strictly for traditional uses. Who doesn’t like receiving a cute shiba greeting?

✔ How to give to friends:
Send trendy Chinese New Year’s cards or couplets.

Red and orange illustration Shiba Inu Chinese New Year Greeting Card

Shiba Inu Greeting Card

Calligraphy and tattoo style Year of the Dog Illustration Greeting Card

Year of the Dog Greeting Card

Pink and White Happy 2018 Chinese New Year of the Dog Greeting Card

Happy 2018 Greeting Card


✔ What else to give to friends:
Put a symbolic quarter or a dollar bill in a mini red envelope and give to friends who share the Chinese New Year tradition, or people you want to share the holiday spirit with.

3-Pack Mini Red and Gold Embossed Dog Design Red Envelopes

3-Pack Mini Red Envelopes

Small envelopes are good as symbolic hongbaos.


👲 For family: for elders and kids; for who matters the most!

Whether you’ve started a new job, or had new family additions such as a new niece or nephew, remember that the essence of red envelopes is blessings for elders and youngsters!  

✔ How to give to children:
Give to young children in your family to wish them good health and a happy childhood. Giving to a baby (to the parents) is also appropriate. You can even gift one to children of very close friends.

Set of 3 Doggie Girl Small Hongbao

Set of 3 Doggie Girl Hongbao

It’s okay to give kids more colorful and fun designs!


10-Piece Dog Comics Year of the Dog Value Pack with Chinese Prosperity Words

Year of the Dog Value Pack (7 Couplets and 10 Red Envelopes)


“Woof” Prosperity Red Envelope ”Tsai” Good Fortune Red Envelope

“Woof” Good Fortune Red Envelope  |  ”Tsai” Good Fortune Red Envelope

Hongbaos with folds and cutouts that kids can play with are very thoughtful. They also help kids learn the words of Chinese New Year greetings.

Stickers also make a nice touch for kids.

Year of the Dog Colorful Folk Art Style Couplet Stickers

Year of the Dog Couplet Stickers


✔ How to give to elders:
The significance of hongbao runs deep for elders. Red envelopes for grandparents and parents not only express gratitude for your upbringing, they are also practical funds for healthcare and daily expenses.

Abstract Floral Design Prosperity Fabric Chinese New Year Red Envelope

Prosperity Fabric Red Envelope

Chinese New Year is all about prosperity. This red envelope made from Japanese fabric with a traditional Chinese button knot is a presentable one for elders!

Red Year of the Dog Felt Envelope with Paw Design

Year of the Dog Felt Red Envelope

Fabric envelopes double as checkbook holders and the durability give them more meaning.


👲 For work: celebrate your employee’s culture and build good relationships with partners

If your company is Chinese, has many employees who celebrates Chinese New Year, or works with Chinese partners, it’s a good idea to send some form of Chinese New Year greetings.

✔ For business partners:
Just like you would for Christmas holidays, a greeting card is basic and appreciated, and a Chinese New Year gift says even more.

2018 “Xu” Year of the Dog Greeting Card with embossed gold

“Xu” Year of the Dog Greeting Card

Papercut Art Print Japanese Year of the Dog Calendar

Japanese Year of the Dog Calendar

Year of the Dog Chinese Horoscope Tea and Mug Set: Red and Gold printing in red gift box

Year of the Dog Chinese Horoscope Tea and Mug Set

✔ For employees:
In large corporations, red envelopes area common, expected form of “dividend”. You can even seek out digital red envelopes in apps such as Wechat. For small businesses, giving red envelopes or gifts makes you feel more like a family.

Year of the Dog Chinese New Year Gift Swarovski Pen Gift

Year of the Dog Swarovski Pen Gift

In business contexts, it’s extra important to give things in red for prosperity.

Dharma Dogs Illustration Greeting Cards Value Pack

Dharma Dogs Greeting Cards Value Pack (Set of 10)


👲 For friends who might not celebrate Chinese New Year—and friends who are dog lovers

If there are friends you’d like to share the CNY spirit with but might be a bit awkward to give money to, give them other forms of greetings instead, such as calendars (a common CNY gift) or pretty cards and couplets for decoration.

Year of the Dog Calendar

Year of the Dog Calendar

Do they love dogs? Make it more about the doggies than about Chinese New Year!

“Good Fortune” in Chinese Navy Dog Shirt

“Prosperity” Dog Shirt

If they take their pup for a walk in this on Chinese New Year’s Day, it’ll certainly be a conversation starter!

Chinese New Year of the Dog Couplet Stickers

Chinese New Year of the Dog Couplet Stickers

These “lightweight” mini couplets are fun for decorating planners, desks and more.


Traditional Paper Cut Dog Print Art

Traditional Paper Cut Dog Print Art

Another trendier form of traditional couplets is any type of red and black folk art—with dogs as the theme.


There are so many ways to spread the Chinese New Year holiday cheer. Whether you live close to family or are abroad and spending it with friends, don’t let it stop you from skipping traditions and celebrations that last until spring!

Chinese New Year 2018 is the Year of the Dog!

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Text: Melissa

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