Lucky Things for People Born in a Year of the Rabbit
At Lunar New Year, it's tradition to give the gift of a bright, beautiful red envelope (known as 紅包, hóngbāo) to your friends and family. But not just any old envelope. These are filled with money - and symbolize good wishes and luck for the new year ahead. The colour red symbolizes energy, happiness, and good luck in Chinese cultures. Traditional red envelopes are often decorated with beautiful Chinese calligraphy and symbols. If gifting a Chinese hongbao upon the Chinese New Year or to a friend on their birthday, remember to keep these lucky and unlucky numbers in mind.
At SageBrown we have our own take on envelope-gifting. Our edit of red envelope inspired handbags and accessories make alternative gifts for Chinese New Year.
Our Victoria envelope bag features a gold metal triangular clasp and a thin gold metal chain shoulder strap with leather shoulder protector. Open the clasp to reveal one main compartment, lined in sumptuous contrast suede with a shaped slip pocket. On the back is a handy expandable zip pocket with leather pull that is the perfect size for a mobile phone. This compact leather purse is ideal for carrying essentials at a special occasion or keeping hands free when shopping, site seeing or dancing! The signature branded SageBrown leather embossed logo on the inside makes this stylish piece a must for a luxury bag collection.
This leather envelope business card holder is ideal for men or women who want to make a professional statement. Handmade in fine calf leather, choose from a smooth or crocodile skin texture in classic and contemporary colours. The envelope style lid snaps shut with a hidden magnetic clasp. Opening the lid reveals a luxurious contrast suede lining interior which can be colour matched to your company logo and makes a great corporate gift. The main pocket is expandable and holds up to 10 business cards and there’s also a slim shaped card pocket in front of this. On the reverse is another slim line handy pocket. It is sturdy and slim and fits discreetly into any pocket or bag and also makes an ideal corporate gift and can also be personalised with initials.
Looking for the perfect gift for her? You can’t go wrong with an envelope inspired red croc Burnett bag available in 2 different sizes. Following the design lines of an envelope, this top handle handbag is beautifully handmade in fine leather with a crocodile skin effect and lined with sumptuous contrast suede in a variety of classic and contemporary colours. The bag features silver metal hardware and a traditional looking round clasp. Upon opening you will find a single spacious compartment with internal pockets. For versatility the bag has a detachable, adjustable shoulder strap to carry over your shoulder or across the body, keeping your hands free. There are four metal "feet" on the base to add to the durability of this eye- catching handbag. This bag looks a million dollars and will be admired by many, regardless of which size you choose.
Match your bag to this RFID purse, handmade from premium calf leather with a smooth flawless texture in an array of colours. A gorgeous ladies tri-fold wallet with zip coin purse that exudes quality and keeps all your cash, cards, ID and coins in one handy sized leather purse. The purse features an envelope style lid that is secured with a press stud. A small zip coin purse is directly under the flap to store coins. Open up to reveal six vertical credit card slots in total and 2 slip pockets behind. The single note section at the back is lined with fine leather that is sure to stand the test of time. Neat and classy this will provide you with many years of faithful service. Note: This product has RFID blocking lining behind the card slots. (Radio Frequency IDentifcation). This feature helps to block RFID readers from scanning your credit cards, debit cards and obtaining banking information.
This leather A4 envelope folder is handmade using our timeless calf hide with a smooth or croc skin texture, that will age gracefully adding character over time. This document folder is ideal for professionals who want to impress and fits neatly into a briefcase or can be carried under your arm. The lid remains secure with discreet magnets in both corners and on the reverse is a handy zip pocket. Inside features a stunning contrast suede lining and space for essential documents. A great business accessory to carry in your hand or in your briefcase.
Unsure what to buy? If you are looking for the perfect present for him or her, why not choose a luxury shopping experience with a SageBrown Gift Voucher. The recipient can use their voucher online or in-store and choose from a vast collection of beautifully designed briefcases, portfolios, wallets, purses, bags, small leather goods and accessories, luxuriously lined in sumptuous suede. Our Gift Cards are available in various denominations. We can send it directly to you to print off and insert into an envelope or to the recipient by e mail.
The products featured above make bold courageous statements and are great leather accessories to own and cherish. They also come in a variety of other colours and textures.
Browse our Chinese New Year Gift Edit for Her here
Lunar New Year Gifts for Him here
shop our red leather gift edit for men here
shop our women’s red leather gift edit here for more inspiration.
Read on for more interesting facts about the historic Chinese red envelope:
The custom of giving red envelopes originates in some of the oldest stories of Chinese New Year. As the legend goes, a demon known as 'Sui' terrorized children while they slept on New Year’s Eve, and parents would try to keep their children awake all night to protect them. One New Year, a child was given eight coins to play with to keep him awake, but he couldn't keep his eyes open and eventually drifted off with the coins on his pillow. Sui appeared, but as he went to touch the child, the coins (actually the Eight Immortals in disguise) produced a powerful light that drove the demon away. Today the envelope, symbolic of the coins, is sometimes known as the yasui qian, or "suppressing Sui money".
While the tradition centres on children, red envelopes are given to friends, family, colleagues and many other relatives - and different amounts of money are customary for each relation. For example, parents and grandparents get the most, but employees and even casual acquaintances can expect a red envelope.
There are rules and customs to red envelope-giving. For example, only clean, crisp notes should be put into a hóngbāo. In the lead-up to New Year’s, there are often long queues at banks as people try to exchange their old and crumpled bills.
In the 21st Century, many people exchange digital red envelopes instead of the traditional paper ones. These are virtual packets of very real cash, transferred directly to friends’ and family’s smartphones. Users can even send digital hóngbāo to their favourite celebrities.
The amount given in red envelopes never includes the number ‘4’ - that means no 4, 40, or 400 amounts - as the pronunciation of ‘four’ in Chinese sounds like the word for death. However, amounts including the number ‘8’ will bring good luck and prosperity. Go ‘8’!
There are rules on how to properly receive an envelope. Traditionally, children would kneel to receive their hóngbāo from older family members, and this is still practiced in some areas of China. Red envelopes are also always given and received with both hands, and should never be opened in the presence of the present-giver. Worth remembering if you ever receive a red envelope!
While red envelopes are most commonly associated with New Year, they also turn up as part of many other occasions as a way of sharing good luck and blessings, like births and weddings. But colour matters: white envelopes will often be exchanged at funerals.
The tradition has crossed cultural and religious boundaries, and green envelope-giving has even become a practice during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr across Southeast Asia. It is also widely practiced by the Chinese and Southeast Asian diaspora across the world, with large-scale celebrations in London and New York. Red envelopes have gone global!
The Cavendish London is also very convenient for visitors who want to experience central London and is a 5 minute walk from China Town. It's a stone throw away from our shop too! One hidden treasure SageBrown has recently discovered during their photoshoot at this prestigious hotel is the view from the Penthouse suites. Located on the 15th floor, you get the most spectacular views of the ever-changing London skyline.
Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit in London, with the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia.