Chinese New Year stamps from around the region: Who's got the best work?

Chinese New Year stamps from around the region: Who's got the best work?

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We are inching closer to the end of the year of the Tiger. In fact, 21 January 2023 will officially mark the end of the Year of the Tiger, and welcome in the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac. Despite the turmoil facing the global economy, many say the year of the rabbit is expected to bring luck and calm where sacrifices of the past will be rewarded. Others also say that the year of The Rabbit is a rewarding one for those willing to take risks.

While we can’t verify if this is indeed true for all of our readers, what we can firmly bring to you is a closer look at some of the beautiful and quirky stamps being produced ahead of the festive season. Numerous nations and cities celebrating Chinese New Year have upheld their tradition of unveiling a special set of stamps ahead of the festive season, commemorating the Chinese zodiac.

This time has come for the Rabbit to appear again and MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has rounded up the authentic stamps across the region.

Hong Konghk stamp cap

Hongkong Post has issued its Chinese New Year stamp series, and this year, it presents a set of four stamps and a stamp sheetlet showcasing the propitious rabbit in different traditional handicrafts, heralding the Year of the Rabbit full of blessing and bliss.

Designed by Kan Tai Keung, the collection includes four elements. The pink stamp displays a rabbit adorned with a pink lily which symbolises peace and harmony, while the background is decorated with the contours of tree peonies, a symbol of wealth, bearing the best wishes for affluence and prosperity in the new year. Meanwhile, the green stamp denotes success and auspiciousness.

The purple stamps highlights a ceramic rabbit, on which the Hong Kong lady's slipper orchid is painted in overglaze with fine brushstrokes and colours in harmony. The noble purple background sets off the contours of daffodils of the same tone, giving an atmosphere of joy and felicity. Last but not least, the coloured glass rabbit on the orange stamp has a pattern of Chinese New Year blossoms in vibrant colours and golden lines. The contour chrysanthemum fit in perfectly with the jolly orange-yellow background of the stamp, which brings a sense of vitality and vigour at the start of spring.

Additionally, Hongkong Post has launched other stamp productes including mint stamps, stamp sheets, stamp sheetlet, silk stamp sheetlet, presentation pack, postage prepaid lunar new year greeting cards, “Heartwarming Stamps” mini-pane. 


china stamp cap

China Post has issued official zodiac stamps annually since 1980. This year, to celebrate the upcoming Year of the Rabbit, China Post released two stamps: one featuring a blue rabbit with hands holding a pen (pictured left), the other showing three rabbits jumping in a circle (pictured right). 

The blue rabbit holding a pen in its right hand and a letter in its left hand symbolises the drawing of a blueprint for the new year as "blue rabbit" is pronounced similarly to "blueprint" in Chinese. Meanwhile, the red stamp (pictured right) features three rabbits running in a circle, implicating "circle of life" as well as family reunion. The background behind the three rabbits features decorative patterns showcasing the legendary story of "a jade rabbit ramming herbal medicines", which conveys the wishes for prosperity of the country and the well-being of the people.

However, the design of the special stamps have drawn mixed reactions among Weibo citizens. A check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE on Weibo saw that some netizens said the blue rabbit stamp looked like it had the corona virus, while others commented that the design of the stamps was not in line with the popular aesthetic standard. Despite the controversy, the stamps were reportedly sold out five days after the release, proving to be immensely popular. 

According to social listening firm CARMA, there have been a total of 1.4K mentions over the last 30 days regarding the incident, with a spike in conversations on 7 January which was the point where the incident went viral. There are 67.2% negative sentiments and 10.4% positive sentiments across Chinese online platforms. Conversations varied widely, ranging from netizens calling the stamp “cute” and paying homage to the artist, to describing the design as “a bad omen” and a “rabbit from hell”, according to CARMA. 


tw stamp cap

To welcome Chinese New Year, Chunghwa Post issued a set of two New Year stamps and a souvenir sheet. The design is based on the theme: "May your wealth and honor abound! May you welcome spring with joy!"  For the NT$6 stamp (pictured left), the seated rabbit symbolises silent waiting, looking forward and welcoming the New Year with hope. Meanwhile, the observant rabbit on the NT$13 stamp (pictured right) raises her head to gaze into the distance, symbolising great expectations for the future.  

Furthermore, Chunghwa Post has launched a souvenir sheet featuring a bounding rabbit. It symbolises bounteous vitality and hope that in the New Year people’s ambitions will be realised,  and their future will be bright. 


sg stamp cap

Singapore Post has unveiled a set of stamps to welcome the Year of the Rabbit, featuring graphical illustrations of the rabbit.  The entire series of stamps is designed by animator and illustrator Lim An-Ling,  who has been designing stamps for SingPost since 2013. The design is a modern take on the Chinese tradition of paper-cutting, one of China’s oldest and most popular folk art that dates back to the second century.

According to popular belief, people born in the Year of the Rabbit are known to be modest and pleasant. While mostly polite and not easily irritable, they are sometimes known to be overly cautious, nervous and tend to escape from reality.  Apart from stamps, SingPost has launched a special collector’s sheet with a commemorative $10 stamp. Designed by Andy Koh, who is a multi-disciplinary designer and has also designed several stamp issues since 2000, will be sold in a folder along with a set of eight red packets.

Other stamp products are also available including a specially designed diagonal decorative stamp encased in a gold-edged frame, as well as a series of MyStamp rabbit-themed products.


thailand stamp cap

Thailand Post has released its Year of the Rabbit stamp at post offices nationwide.

Designed by Thaneth Ponchaiwong, the stamp features a rabbit sitting on a tortoise. The design of the stamp makes people think of the “The Hare and The tortoise”, one of Aesop’s Fables that accounts of a race between unequal partners has attracted conflicting interpretations.

People have been discussing where the 12-year Chinese zodiac calendar grew from. Some people said it came from the story of a Great Race between various animals organised by the Jade Emperor. On the other hand, some claimed that each animal’s place in the cycle relates to the specific time that each is most active during the day.  Painted in a child-like style of childishness, this is the ninth Chinese New Year stamp with the design based on a sketch made by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.


vietnam stamp cap

In the Vietnamese zodiac, the cat replaces the rabbit used in the Chinese zodiac. To welcome the Vietnamese New Year 2023, the Ministry of Information and Communications has issued the stamp set "Year of the Cat", which includes two stamps and one block, depicting the image of cats - a symbol of the kindness, perseverance and patience and a mascot to bring the fortune and prosperity to the people. 

The stamps feature illustrations of cats and colour gradient are adopted in the design. The 4,000 dong stamp has featured a cat mother playing with her son and daugher, decorated with red pockets and peach blossom. Meanwhile, the 15,000dong has featured a cat holding a bunch of flowers and red pockets with an excited face.

Related articles:

7-Eleven celebrates Chinese New Year with Sanrio-themed containers
Sentosa drops 'State of fun' branding, unveils new logo and look for new year
Singtel kicks off CNY celebrations with rival families Angs and Huangs
Listerine Malaysia freshens up CNY customs with Jenn Chia


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