vietnam travel covid 19 updates

Stay updated with the latest news of the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam and information for traveling to Vietnam. Read more here.

Vietnam Travel Information

i Tour Vietnam | Top-rated private Ho Chi Minh City tours and Vietnam travel guides.

How Much Lucky Money to Give in Vietnam


Giving lucky money is regarded as one of the most interesting cultural practices in Vietnam. It has become an integral part of the Tet holiday and is still being well preserved from generation to generation.

The Origin of Lucky Money in Vietnam

Giving lucky money was a custom originated from China. Years ago, there was a couple who were over 50 years old who had just given birth to a little boy. In that Lunar New Year, 8 fairies visited their house and knew that there would be a monster coming to hurt him. To protect the boy, the 8 fairies transformed into 8 coins which were then wrapped in red cloth and laid beside the boy when he was sleeping. Thanks to these coins, which were the fairies, the boy was unharmed by the monster.

Read more about Superstitions in Vietnam

The old couple was so thankful and gradually, everyone in the village knew about the stories. Since then, when Lunar New Year comes, people will give children money wrapped in red paper with a belief that the money will protect children from being harmed.

lucky money in vietnam
The lucky money envelopes

Besides the folk story above, there are many other different stories about the origin of lucky money and no one knows when this custom was first started in Vietnam.

How Much Lucky Money to Give in Vietnam?

The amount of lucky money you give depends on how close the relationship is. The closer you are, the more money you give. Originally, the meaning of lucky money is not meant by the amount of money you give, it is what you wish the other when giving lucky money. However, nowadays, the amount of money is considered one of the factors which express how close you are to the receiver. The range is about VND 200,000 to VND 500,000 (US$ 8.5 to US$ 21) for a close relationship and about VND 20,000 to VND 100,000 (US$ 1 to US$ 4.3) for acquaintances.

lucky money in vietnam how much

The amount of money to give depends on how close the relationship is

When and Who Should You Give Lucky Money to?

The popular time to give lucky money is on the Tet holiday which lasts 3 days from the first to the third of January in the Lunar calendar. On this occasion, children are the ones who expect to receive lucky money from other members of their family and acquaintances. Depending on the particular practice of each family, lucky money in Vietnam is given to particular people. For some families, the ones who are not unable to make money by themselves including children and the elderly are qualified to receive lucky money. For some families, you can receive lucky money up until you get married.

lucky money in vietnam giving

Giving lucky money in Lunar New Year

Besides the Tet holiday, you can also give lucky money on special occasions when you visit someone’s house. On these occasions, lucky money can also be replaced by gifts or food. The sole purpose is to show your respect and love to the host that you visit.

Other Customs of Lucky Money in Vietnam

There are some practices you should note to yourself when giving lucky money in Vietnam. First, lucky money should be new and put in red envelopes. The reason for this practice is that lucky money is often given at the start of a year, so it should be the new money. Red is the symbol of luck in Eastern culture, which explains why lucky money is put in red envelopes. Secondly, people used to only give money that was printed in red color as a way to wish luck. However, these notes are of low value so people do not mind the color of the money eventually. Last but not least, accompanied with lucky money should be some wishes for good things such as longevity, wealth, success, health, etc.

Read more about Gift Giving Etiquettes in Vietnam

lucky money in vietnam giving 2

Wish grandparents health when giving or receiving lucky money

Get the world-leading travel insurance for your adventures in Vietnam:


Summary of How Much Lucky Money to Give in Vietnam

Giving lucky money has become a custom embedded in Vietnamese culture. Its meaning is not only drawn from the amount of money but the good intentions that people give to each other.

To have fun trips in Ho Chi Minh City, check out our authentic motorbike tours with professional local guides!
Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.



Guest - Wally Ronson on Thursday, 12 March 2020 13:17

I thought it was only a Chinese thing. Turns out lots of SEA countries share the same culture

I thought it was only a Chinese thing. Turns out lots of SEA countries share the same culture
Guest - Rocky Orleans on Tuesday, 10 March 2020 13:28

I quickly learned about this being an English teacher in Vietnam I saw people decorating the tree during the Tet holiday with the envelops too, just like Christmas ornaments

I quickly learned about this being an English teacher in Vietnam :) I saw people decorating the tree during the Tet holiday with the envelops too, just like Christmas ornaments
Guest - Connie on Wednesday, 29 January 2020 15:42

Where can I buy the red envelopes?

Where can I buy the red envelopes?
Guest - Sammy Jackson on Friday, 25 October 2019 21:35

great to know when you;re visiting a vietnamese family in Tet

great to know when you;re visiting a vietnamese family in Tet
Already Registered? Login Here
Monday, 20 March 2023

Captcha Image



This Vietnam travel information page is written by a team of professional tour guides in Vietnam. More about us or visit home page

Vietnam Travel Information

Check out the necessary information for traveling to Vietnam

First Time in Vietnam

To Pack List for Vietnam

Major Cities in Vietnam

Family & Elderly Travel

LGBT Travel

Vietnam Festivals and Holidays

Best Vietnamese Dishes

UNESCO World Heritage in Vietnam

Vietnamese Culture

Religions in Vietnam

Ethnicities in Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam

Vietnamese Currency Guide

Best Dishes to Try in Vietnam

20 Must-try Vietnamese Dishes

Unusual Foods to Try in Vietnam

Street Food in Vietnam

Vietnamese Grilled Dishes

Rice Dishes in Vietnam

Pho Dishes in Vietnam

Traveling to and within Vietnam

Airport Arrival Tips at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh)

Airport Arrival Tips at Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)

Major Airports in Vietnam

Taking Trains in Vietnam

Bringing Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

Bringing Your Pets to Vietnam

How to Take Motorbike Taxis

Taking a Ferry in Vietnam

Renting a Car in Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Itineraries

Vietnam One-month Itinerary

Vietnam One-week Itinerary

Taking a Gap Year in Vietnam

Backpacking in Vietnam

Expat Tours in Vietnam

Honeymoon in Vietnam

Vietnam Visa, SIM Cards, and WiFi

Visa Info & Where to Buy Sim Cards

Traveling with Wifi in Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Safety Tips

Travel Insurance

Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

How to Avoid Mosquitoes

Food Safety in Vietnam

Getting Vaccinations

Common Diseases and How to Prevent

Wearing Face Masks in Vietnam

Can Tourists Drive in Vietnam?

How to Avoid Scams

Travel Safety Tips

Best Places to Stay in Vietnam

Deluxe Hotels in Vietnam

Best Hotels in Ho Chi Minh

Best Hotels in Hanoi

Where to Stay in Ha Long Bay

Where to Stay in Ha Giang

Where to Stay in Sa Pa

Where to Stay in Da Lat

Where to Stay in Mui Ne

Where to Stay in Hoi An

Homestays in Vietnam

Find more hotels to stay in Vietnam below:

Powered by 12Go Asia system