It’s that time of the year again, when the East and Southeast Asian populations around the globe celebrate one of Greater China’s biggest holidays, Lunar New Year. That is, the changing of the year based on the lunar calendar, and January 25 will welcome the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac cycle. On top of the superstitious and traditional events that will take place over multiple days, there’s one large aspect to the holiday that many look forward to the most — opening red pockets (known as 紅包/Hong Bao in Mainland China, and 利是/Lai See in Hong Kong) for gifted money.
Typically given to those that are younger or in school, by married couples or someone older and earning their own money, each red pocket is inserted with new bills, amounting numbers that avoid denominations of four (unlucky) and also coins. For those who are still confused about how it all works, Molala did a whimsical infographic on who should give and receive a red pocket.
Nonetheless, the minimal red pockets still showcase each label’s creative ability for branding one of the oldest traditions in Chinese history.
Greatest Louis Vuitton with a simple-branded cardboard case that sees the brand’s name debossed in gold letters. The pocket features a single golden rat at the center and an “LV” monogram at the back. Versace offers a duo-pack that contains one envelope with a gold-framed “V” above the “Versace” name, and one with a baroque-style pattern in gold foil. On the more playful side, Paul Smith‘s take sees an illustrated smiling rat with Paul Smith’s signature cursive penmanship.
PORTS was one of the few names to go against the traditional red pocket, and as the brand instead opted for a bold yellow envelope featuring multi-colored graphics.
Tiffany & Co almost had us fooled with its signature Tiffany Blue color on its packaging, but kept to auspicious red for its pockets.
IWC watch brand envelopes came in a hefty pull-out box where each individual pocket had its own ancient Chinese coin closure and knot art string.
Gucci was able to carry over its Disney collaboration and released Mickey Mouse-branded envelopes stored in a green and black Mickey Mouse display box.
Going a step further, Calvin Klein really surprised me by including a fully-functioning toy maze at the center of a traditionally gifted Chinese candy box.