Giving away lai see packets is an essential Chinese New Year tradition, but you want to make sure yours stand out from the rest. Set your red packets apart from the others by choosing from these unique styles for the Year of the Rooster.
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Everyone’s got green on their mind this time of year — green as in the environment that is. Looking to reduce waste generated during Chinese New Year traditions, Pacific Place has come up with rooster-themed lai see packets using chrysanthemum seed paper, which are all biodegradable. Once you’re done with them, just soak them in water and plant them in soil to let them bloom into flowers for a pretty and pollution-reducing home decoration, which also represents optimism and joy for the new year. To redeem a pack of 10, just spend a minimum of HK$2,500 at Pacific Place through electronic payment to receive a complimentary set.
Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Popular for their punny slogans, these quirky greeting card designs by Meghna Jhuremalani (under the company moniker Nocturnal Paper) are inspired by pop culture, and therefore perfect as lai see packets to the less traditional millenial crowd. They’ll be appreciated this Chinese New Year whether if they’ve got cash slipped inside the envelope or not (but of course more so with the former.) Chinese New Year designs this year feature Kanye, Justin Bieber and more pun-filled jokes relating to vegetables and Chinese tradition. They sell in store for HK$35, and online for HK$23.
WOAW Store, 11 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong
Once again enlisting the brains of long-term collaborator and award-winning designer Andy Tong, this year’s Chinese New Year decorations and lai see packet designs at Harbour City take inspiration from water — symbolising wealth and luck — and koi fish, which represent health and happiness. The set features eight large and eight small lai see packets in eye-catching, modish colours, and comes with a matching clutch carrying bag. To redeem a full set, spend HK$2,000 or above by electronic payment in no more than two outlets throughout Harbour City, and donate HK$150 to the Hong Kong Blood Cancer Foundation at the redemption counter. The redemption period ends 22 January, and is only available Fridays to Sundays.
Harbour City, Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
You can always count on G.O.D. for cute and whimsical designs with a contemporary spin. New for this year are these Lucky Cat lai see packets, while last year’s pop-out Kung Hei Fat Choy designs are still available. Both go for HK$55 for a set of 10. If you’re looking for a more sophisticated design, G.O.D. has also partnered with Chinese restaurant Above and Beyond at Hotel Icon to craft its limited edition Chinese New Year gift set, which features a rooster-themed print for its lai see and pudding packaging. Each pudding gift box goes for HK$338, and includes a pudding, a homemade XO sauce and one set of 10 red packets.
G/F & 1/F, 48 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2805 1876, god.com.hk
If you’re a sucker for adorable designs but still want your lai see sophisticated enough for children and adults alike, you can browse from homegrown stationery brand Lion Rock Press for its Chinese New Year offerings (HK$45 for eight lai see), which feature patterned envelopes of various themes. Very apropos for the occasion are of course its rooster lai see packets, but the lion dance and lantern styles make for a more subtle festive touch. Keep an eye on the range when you have to next visit a Chinese wedding banquet, as Lion Rock Press designs those too. Want custom-made designs for your family and friends? Just reach out to owner and designer Claire Yates to see what they can whip up for you.
If you resolve to dole out the most eyecatching lai see out of all your relatives and friends, the W Hong Kong’s should do the trick: The bright pink envelopes feature a prominent illustration of a rooster to celebrate the coming new year. A set comes with every Chinese New Year pudding gift set you buy (HK$348), which also includes premium tea bags from MINGCHA. Order before 22 January to get 10% off.
W Hong Kong, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
If classy is what you’re looking for, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is offering an elegant, tried-and-true design in red and gold, featuring the hotel’s iconic fan logo, of course. Selling for HK$50 a pack, they’re understated but will surely be well appreciated (much more than your average bank freebies for sure).
Book Kiosk, G/F, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2522 0111