Red Envelope Policy
The color Red is auspicious, lucky and therefore it is used for happy occasions. Red is also the color with the most yang energy. It can prevent evil, inauspicious Qi (chi) or inauspicious events from occuring.
In China, there is a saying "Red Envelope Policy," which means that one has to offer a bribe to get what one wants.
Sometimes it happens that you tell someone something that they are not really able to, or supposed to know. and whoever hears this secret will need to give you a Red Envelope so that the negative or bad Qi will not transmit to you. The power of Red will stop and prevent all the negative and bad Qi. In Feng Shui, an individual may ask a question, and the Feng Shui Practitioner will give the answer that the individual would not otherwise have knowledge of. Therefore the Practitioner will need a Red Envelope, or three, or nine, or even ninty-nine Red Envelopes. Now bear this in mind, when you ask a question of another who is in a position of knowledge that you don't have privy to, that you may well be putting that individual's Qi in some sort of danger, and honor the Red Envelope Tradition.
Also in the Chinese culture, "year" (nian) is a type of animal which could hurt or even eat a human being. When one is lucky enough to be alive for another New Year celebration, afterwards the elders will give the young people Red Envelope to restrain the sense of tenuous existance and give protection against evil or inauspicious Qi.
Copyright ©1997 by Edgar Sung, all rights reserved.
Feng Shui Stories by Dr. Edgar Sung