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Let’s collectively welcome in the Year of the Metal Rat for the Lunar New Year of 2020!
Printed on a gorgeous linen paper in a matte dusty red with a gold hot-stamp finish, lets celebrate the start of a new 12-year cycle with this beautiful and symbolic red packets which you can gift to your loved ones or keep for collection. This original rat design is inspired by the ancient practice of Chinese paper cutting. Read the full description for the symbolic meaning of red packets, and the Chinese Zodiac.
Red Packet / Red Envelope / Money Packet / Ang Pao / Hong Bao
Red packets (or also known as the many names listed above) are traditionally given in Chinese and most East / South-east Asian cultures as monetary gifts for special occasions like weddings, birthdays, the birth of a baby and most importantly during the Lunar New Year. This practice is normally given by parents or elders to young children, however gifting red packets is a form of goodwill so there’s no stopping you from giving to whomever you’d like.
The colour red for the packets symbolise good luck and are symbolic to warding off evil. In modern times, red packets come in all sorts of colours (besides red) and designs. The tradition of giving red packets is a symbolic way for people to share their blessings and to wish good fortune and prosperity for the receiver. Typically, red packets should contain (money) in even numbers except the number 4, which is considered bad luck (8 on the other hand is an auspicious number). When receiving a red packet, do receive it with both hands and be sure to express your gratitude to the giver.
The Chinese Zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle with each year being represented by a different animal. An ancient mythology* describes that the order of animals in the 12-year cycle was a result of a great race organised by the Jade Emperor – one of the most important gods in traditional Chinese religion. The order of the zodiac is: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. In Chinese astrology, each zodiac sign is also associated with one of the five elements — wood, fire, earth, metal, and water – therefore creating five types of each animal with different characteristics. Do you know your Chinese Zodiac?
The Year of the Metal Rat
The Rat is the first animal in the Chinese Zodiac. In the race story, the Rat was tired and couldn’t cross the river which was close to the finish line. It then asked the humble Ox for assistance and when they were close to the finish line, the quick-witted rat jumped off the Ox and dashed towards the Jade Emperor, therefore winning first place. (*This story is widespread and varies slightly among Chinese mythology).
The Rat is representative of being quick-witted, intelligent, resourceful, fertile and successful. People born in the year of the Rat are known to be charming, kind, diligent and good with saving money.
You are born in the year of the Rat if you were born in 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020.
2020 is the Year of the Metal Rat and also a year of new beginnings. This year the Lunar New Year falls on Saturday January 25th.
Empath Designs respectfully acknowledges the traditional owners, the Wurundjeri people, as the custodians of this land. We pay respect to all Aboriginal community Elders, past and present, who have resided in the area and have been an integral part of the history of the region.