Duit Raya / Angpau


“Duit raya” or “angpau” or token of money is a unique Malaysian culture of giving and receiving. It has been a custom for many years especially during the festive season such as during Chinese New Year and Aidilfitri. The token of money is normally put in an envelope and handed to the other party together with well wishes.

In Malay custom, the money was kept in a green envelope and it is to symbolize an adaptation of the Islamic obligatory duty of zakat and given from the elders to the young during Aidilfitri. Before the “duit raya”, Malays used to give away sweets and candies as a token of appreciative.

“Angpau” was practice by the Chinese community during Chinese New Year, weddings and even funerals. The token of money was kept in a red envelope for good luck, to ward off evil spirits and to wish for a blissful marriage.

Traditionally, the young ones especially kids will go for a special mission from house to house for a “ziarah” or visit, where they need to mingle with the host, enjoy the food offerings and show respect to the elders. Customarily, the host will give them the “duit raya” at the end of the visit and kids were thought not to beg, demand or ask for the “duit raya” as it is bad-mannered to do so. This tradition is not only a custom in Malaysia but also in Singapore and Brunei.
This exhibition recently showcased in Charlotte, North Carolina and Petrosains is their first venue in Asia, which makes it a MUST-VISIT exhibition. It will be at Petrosains from August 2015 till December 2015.