The sight of flowers in Spring gives a sense of renewal and hope. That is the theme for the Royal Bank of Scotland’s ang pow for the Year of the Water Dragon. Plum blossoms emblazoned in gold adorn the red packets. Made from thicker paper stock and measuring at 6.50″ x 3.25″, they are also sturdier and larger than regular ang pows. What I like best about these packets is the wide horizontal opening which makes it convenient to insert currency notes. This is certainly one of the better designed ang pows around for this year.
The theme for HSBC Bank’s hong bao this year is money tree flourishing with gold coins and blooming jade flowers. Chinese lucky knots make up the tree trunk culminating with the cords weaved into a chrysanthemum flower at the base. A propitious Chinese four-character idiom called chengyu wishes that the receiver’s home overflowing with gold and jade, in short, untold riches. The flap of gold flower motif adds an elegant finishing touch to the hong bao.
Citibank ang pao – red envelope for the Year of the Tiger 2010.
In the olden days, ang pao were actually coins wrapped in red paper – the kind that leaves red stain on the finger tips when touched. I did receive a few of such ang pao when I was a kid. Those were given by the amah chehs – unmarried servants – who usually wore white top and black bottom sam foos. I still do not know the reasons why they gave out ang pao as unmarried adults are not obliged to do that.
HSBC ang pao – red envelope for the Year of the Tiger 2010.
With the easy availability of pre-made red envelopes, there is no need to get the fingers stained nowadays on the eve of Chinese New Year. That is usually the time when married adults prepare the ang pao by putting money into the red envelopes. The amount put in must be even. Odd amounts are considered inauspicious.