Blog Entries

Red Packets and Grace

Tomorrow is Chu Yi (初一), the first day of the lunar new year on the Chinese calendar. For those of you keeping track, it marks the beginning of the Year of the Tiger. For Chinese people all over the world it is a time to gather with families, eat special foods, and exchange gifts.

In this video blog, produced by our friends at CantoSense, Hannah and I’Ching discuss memories of their family celebrations growing up and some of the special foods that are eaten on the holiday. They also give an overview of other customs and how they and their Christian families use these customs as outreach opportunities.

Specifically, they talk about how to redeem some of the rituals, such as 红包 (hongbao)—red packets (envelopes). In traditional Chinese culture red is a color that wards off evil spirits. In Christianity, it symbolizes the shed blood of Christ and the grace that we receive as a result.

They conclude by urging us to see red packets as a ritual of grace, remembering the blood of Christ that was freely given for us.

May you and your families have a grace-filled new year.

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Image credit: Yuwei Shaw, via Unsplash.
Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio

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