One of the biggest dates in the lunar calendar is the Lunar New Year, which this year will mark the upcoming Year of the Ox. Aside from celebrating the dawn of the new year, one of the most important aspects of the Lunar New Year holiday is the giving of gifts – and while other elements of the celebration may look a little different in the Year of the Ox, fortunately the tradition of gift-giving remains unaffected.
Although the most traditional Lunar New Year gift is hóngbāo (a red envelope containing cash, typically given to children and unmarried adults), Asian families often also give material gifts to loved ones, ranging from gourmet treats to lavish jewelry and accessories. And with so many of the world’s luxury brands releasing limited edition collections to mark the holiday, there is no shortage of designer gifts to choose from.
Rémy Martin XO, High Tea Set
Rémy Martin is celebrating the Year of the Ox by blending two traditional cultures of excellence, cognac and tea, with the release of its high-tea gift set. The parallels between the two cultures are interesting, with both rooted in ceremony, craftsmanship and heritage – and the Rémy Martin XO High Tea Set is the perfect way to enjoy them together. The set features a luxury glass tea set, presented in a red and gold wooden coffret that can also be used as a tea service tray. Although ideal for serving tea during Lunar New Year celebrations, the set also invites you to try new ways of blending these two cultures – for example, a tea cocktail served in a teacup. Learn more at remymartin.com.
Annoushka, 18K Gold Red Envelope Ox Cable Bracelet
British jewelry label Annoushka has long been regarded for its playful and intricate charms. This year, to celebrate the Year of the Ox, Annoushka has released its 18K yellow gold and red enamel envelope charm with a gold ox motif. Although suitably stylish when worn alone, the Red Envelope Ox Charm can also be teamed with a selection of Annoushka’s other charms on the 18K cable chain bracelet for a showstopping Lunar New Year gift – we’d suggest a total of eight for luck.
Fortnum & Mason, Bi Luo Chun Wooden Caddy
As an integral part of Asian culture, tea always makes a welcome Lunar New Year gift. Originally grown in the Dongting mountains, Bi Luo Chun is renowned for its floral taste and fruity aroma and, with a 1,000-year history, is considered one of the most traditional Chinese green teas. Fortnum & Mason’s loose-leaf Bi Luo Chun is presented in a wooden caddy with a gold-effect clasp for a luxury take on a traditional gift.
Hoyle’s of Oxford, Walnut Case Mah Jong Set
As with any family festivity, playing games is an important part of the multiday Lunar New Year celebration. Both board and card games are popular across the Asian continent, but mah-jongg is one of the most commonly played in China. The tile game requires specialist equipment including intricate tiles and counting tallies; however you’re spending Lunar New Year, presenting a loved one with a beautifully made traditional mah-jongg set is guaranteed to be a well-received gift.
Harry Winston, Premier Chinese New Year Ox Automatic 36mm
Each year, the world’s most luxury brands release a limited edition Lunar New Year collection, and Harry Winston’s Year of the Ox watch might be one of the most special yet. Featuring the powerful ox symbol on a background of mother-of-pearl, the watch face is adorned with over 150 brilliant Harry Winston diamonds, while the 18K rose gold casing is complemented by a vibrant red leather strap. However, it’s important to remember that giving a clock or a watch for Lunar New Year can be considered as an indicator that “time is running out” for the recipient – we’d suggest gifting this spectacular timepiece only to someone you are well acquainted with.
Mulberry, Portobello Tote
British designer Mulberry has released a coveted Lunar New Year collection featuring a limited range of leather bags and accessories bearing the ox motif and the traditional knot icon that is thought to bring luck for the coming year. Our favorite is the Portobello Tote in Lipstick Red, with a flash of blue bearing the knot icon on the exterior as well an embossed label on its interior showing an embossed ox head. The 100% sustainable leather tote bag is crafted from environmentally accredited leather and finished with recycled threads.
Fendi, Limited Edition Card Holder
Selected from the Lunar New Year Limited Capsule Collection, Fendi’s sleek cardholder will make a cherished gift to mark the beginning of the Year of the Ox. Although the rest of the collection is awash with muted pinks in homage to Japanese cherry blossom trees and vibrant reds that are considered good luck, the cardholder adds a more masculine edge by pairing black leather details with the allover jacquard Fendi motif. Note that Chinese tradition must be considered when gifting wallets for Lunar New Year; it is believed that giving someone a wallet or a purse is an omen of losing your own fortune, so they should be given only to those in your own household.