SINGAPORE – Ornate, majestic and fearsome, the dragon has fascinated artists across centuries and cultures.
So, it is little wonder that designers have pulled out all the stops to commemorate this legendary beast in red packets marking the Year of the Wood Dragon.
Many draw inspiration from the traditional Chinese dragon – a wingless, serpentine creature that is leaner and longer than its Western counterpart. It symbolises good luck, prosperity and strength.
Swiss private bank Julius Baer’s hongbao exemplifies the zodiac sign’s elegance with a golden dragon coiled around the clouds. It is accompanied by a phoenix, another mythical beast noted for its nobility.
For the earth-toned packets of global asset manager Schroders, two pieces combine to reveal the full picture: two dragons wrapped around the company’s logo, set against an abstract backdrop of trees and wood textures – a nod to this year’s Wood Dragon zodiac.
It is an even more crowded affair in the case of OCBC’s hongbao. Its six dragons, with colourful heads and calligraphy-brushstroke bodies, twirl playfully across a set of four packets set side by side. The colour scheme is bold and bright – a sea of reds, yellows and pinks make the details pop.
The Shangri-La Group’s embossed golden dragon flies solo, but is no less cheerful. Its mouth is curved in a smile as it gazes at a shimmering silver orb – likely the pearl Chinese dragons are usually depicted with – in the centre of the packet.
The group has another design for those looking fo...