Hongbao get cuddly in the Year of the Rabbit

Adorable rabbits take centre stage in hongbao designs this year. PHOTOS: RYAN CHIONG

SINGAPORE – While the Year of the Tiger saw many fierce designs, this year’s red packets amp up the adorable factor.

It is, after all, the Year of the Rabbit and bunnies, fluffy and full of energy, are irresistible to many.

Among the hongbao designs that will make you go “oh, so cute” are the ones by luxury hotel chain Shangri-La Group, where a long-eared bunny takes centre stage. Pull the “carrot” tab at the top to “open” the rabbit’s eyes.

Pull the carrot-shaped tab to open and close the eyes of this bunny on a red packet from Shangri-La Group. ST PHOTO: RYAN CHIONG

A fluffle of bunnies graces the red and gold hongbao of brokerage Maybank Securities. Slight pops of colour in their tails lend a whimsical touch. The pack comes with a sticker sheet.

The adorable fluffle of bunnies is one of eight designs from Maybank Securities. ST PHOTO: RYAN CHIONG

Local studio Yoga Inc’s rendition features a rabbit, dressed in a traditional Tang suit, in a Warrior II yoga pose, while recruitment firm ManpowerGroup puts a family of rabbits gathering fruit and vegetables on its red packet.

A bunny in a traditional Tang suit and in a basic Warrior II yoga pose. ST PHOTO: RYAN CHIONG
A family of bunnies helps one another gather fruit and vegetables in this hongbao from ManpowerGroup. ST PHOTO: RYAN CHIONG

This year, the National Heritage Board’s Museum Roundtable Lunar New Year Hongbao Campaign has gone full adorable with its 39 designs. This is the first year Children’s Museum Singapore, the newest member of the Museum Roundtable, is participating.

This hongbao featuring the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is one of 39 designs from the National Heritage Board’s Museum Roundtable Lunar New Year Hongbao Campaign. ST PHOTO: RYAN CHIONG

Until Feb 3, visitors can collect a free set of eight red packets at each of the 39 participating museums, heritage institutions and galleries while stocks last. The designs in each set will be random.

Also made available for purchase – through pre-registered sales and walk-ins that are now closed – were 450 albums ($88 each). Each contained two full sets of the 39 designs, as well as two special-edition ones.

Some brands have hopped into collaborations.

Stationery brand Papercrane Designs and nail-wrap company Nodspark have bunnies frolicking in a field of pastel blooms. The design is by Papercrane founder Aerilynn Tan.

The set of eight hongbao ($10) is available on the websites of both brands (str.sg/wFVx and str.sg/wFVf). Matching nail wraps were also released, but have sold out.

The collaboration between Papercrane Designs and Nodspark also features nail wraps, which have sold out. ST PHOTO: RYAN CHIONG

Home-grown footwear and accessories brand Charles & Keith teamed up with global media giant Disney for a Chinese New Year collection featuring Judy Hopps, the spunky rabbit police officer from animated film Zootopia (2016). She appears on the red packet, toting her trusty carrot-shaped audio recorder.

Animated character Judy Hopps and her carrot-shaped audio recorder are featured on this hongbao, a collaboration between Disney and Charles & Keith. ST PHOTO: RYAN CHIONG

Or create your own design with Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre’s blank hongbao, which comes with a sheet of rabbit and food stickers.

It may be the Year of the Rabbit, but National University Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine decided to be inclusive and is offering sticker sheets featuring all 12 Chinese zodiac animals, to go along with a basic design of trees and flowers.

Cute not your cup of tea? There are other elegant and subtle designs.

You have to look hard for the bunnies on the floral-themed hongbao by real estate and healthcare company Perennial, one of which almost blends into a flower.

Real estate and healthcare company Perennial hides two gold rabbits amid colourful flowers. ST PHOTO: RYAN CHIONG

Equally hidden is the rabbit on French cognac brand Remy Martin’s red packet, which sits in the neck of a brandy bottle.

A small rabbit sits in the neck of a Remy Martin cognac bottle. ST PHOTO: RYAN CHIONG

Local lingerie store Perk by Kate keeps it simple with rose-gold rabbit silhouettes amid flowers. The packs are complimentary for purchases over $68, while stocks last.

Small gold rabbit outlines give the Perk by Kate hongbao an elegant touch. ST PHOTO: RYAN CHIONG
Schroders plays into the Year of the Water Rabbit with bright blue waves in its design. ST PHOTO: RYAN CHIONG

Making sure its red packets are produced sustainably is investment firm Schroders, which chose to use FSC-certified paper. An accompanying wristlet made from vegan-friendly materials is a stylish way to store the hongbao safely.

A little card in the pack says the company provided employment for single mothers, who worked on the assembly and production of the hongbao. But it also limited printing this year to encourage the giving of more environmentally friendly e-hongbao.

Correction note: A previous version of this story mentioned Perennial solely as a real estate company. We are sorry for the error.

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