Instructables

Chinese New Year Decoration - Lai See (Red Pocket) Fish

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Picture of Chinese New Year Decoration - Lai See (Red Pocket) Fish
I came across a school of such fishes hanging down from the ceiling of a Chinese restaurant. They surely look great and a lot like real fishes. They are made of the commonly found red pockets widely available in the Chinese communities during the Chinese New Year. I examined the fishes closely, took a number of pictures of them. When I got home I was able to reproduce a number of them.

Chinese New Year is the new year according to the movement of the moon rather than the movement of the sun. It usually takes place around late January to mid-Febuary.

Red pocket is a Chinese tradition. The elder people give out red pockets to children/teenages. There are usually money inside. Chinese children earn quite a fortune during Chinese New Year getting red pockets from their elderly family members, uncles and aunties. Of course, by the Newton's law of action and reaction, the elderly go broke at the same time. Lucky that the red pockets giving only last of 10-15 days.

Fishes are good decoration as well a dish during the Chinese New year because the Chinese pronunciation of "fish" is similar to that of "left over". One gets "left over" because (s)he has too much. Having too much is a sign of richness. So, fishes are good thing to show and to eat during Chinese New Year.

More about Chinese New Year from Wikipedia here.
 
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Step 2: Start with the mouth (1)

Picture of Start with the mouth (1)
Fold the corners of two red pockets as follows
- fold the left side corners to the back
- fold the right side corners up.

Step 3: Start with the month ... (2)

Align the corners of the two red pockets that were folded to the back and staple them together. You now have the mouth of the fish.

Step 4: Continue with the body ... (1)

Picture of Continue with the body ... (1)
Use six red pockets and fold all four corners of each of them up.
asianwizard5 years ago
i was lucky enough to remember thing after the lion dance at my church so i saved all of them _
gmjhowe6 years ago
The fish is so cool, ne chance u could list the size of them there pockets, for those of use not luck enuff to get free money, at least then i can cut shapes out of some nice card or summit. Thanks +1btw
dandus (author)  gmjhowe6 years ago
The ones I used are about 11.5cm x 8cm. Yet Lai See (red pockets) come in all kind of sizes. The recent ones are longer and you will then have longer fishes.
gmjhowe gmjhowe6 years ago
wtf happened to the rating button?
I am Vietnamese, and I always get Lai Sees on Chinese New Year, my birthday and stuff like that. Now I have something to do with them! +1 rating.