As we inch closer to the Year of the Dragon, it also means we are bidding farewell to the Year of the Rabbit on 10 February. In Chinese astrology, dragons symbolise strength, wisdom and power, while those born in the year of the Dragon are believed to naturally have good fortune and success.
While we can’t guarantee all our readers good fortune and success as much as we hoped, we can guarantee you a closer look at some well-designed stamps in celebration of the new year. As usual, numerous countries and regions have upheld their tradition and issued new sets of stamps to commemorate the switching of the Chinese zodiac.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has rounded up the best-designed stamps across the region, and we hope to give our readers a glimpse into what the Dragon represents.
Upholding its tradition of issuing official zodiac stamps annually since 1980, China Post has released two stamps this year: one featuring a golden dragon flying upwards set on a Chinese Red background, while the other is derived from traditional Chinese auspicious patterns.
According to China Post, the golden dragon with its head held high on the red stamp symbolises the spirit of vigour and constant self-improvement. Together with the auspicious cloud patterns in the background, the picture presents peace, blessings and good luck. The second stamp, forming the pattern of “round sky and square earth”, offers a harmonious and solemn picture. Its central jade is the combination of two characters, namely “Xiang” (祥) and “Rui” (瑞), which means peace, happiness and health.
Together, these stamps draw on the cultural genes of the classic dragon images of Chinese dynasties and combine the cultural characteristics of the zodiac and the artistic characteristics of the stamps. They highlight the cultural heritage of the era of self-confidence and self-improvement.
Hongkong Post has introduced a set of four stamps and two stamp sheetlets this year that showcase the vivid depiction of the dragon with different graphic elements and festive colours.
Designed by Fan Zouxin, the HK$10 stamp sheetlet features a paper-cut dragon in Gaomi paper-cutting style, while the HK$50 stamp sheetlet is the first laser-cut paper art stamp sheetlet issued by the Hongkong Post. The motif on the stamp is laser-cut to create a silhouette of a dragon.
This collection of stamps includes four elements: the yellow stamp depicts a majestic red dragon that incorporates the pattern of Chinese traditional red lanterns, bearing the best wishes for good health in the year ahead. The orange stamp shows a glittering dragon in the colour purple, heralding the new year with auspiciousness, wealth and prosperity.
The purple stamp features wriggling dragons with their bodies adorned in embroidery patterns of peacocks, symbolising happiness and good fortune, while the pair of dragons signify that good things come in pairs. Meanwhile, the pink stamp denotes propitiousness with a sense of determination and vibrancy.
Additionally, Hongkong Post has launched other stamp products including mint stamps, stamp sheets, stamp sheetlet and various greeting cards and covers.
To mark the forthcoming Chinese New Year festivities, Pos Malaysia has launched a special stamp collection that pays tribute to the mythological dragon, one of the twelve revered animals in the Chinese zodiac. Symbolising luck and success, the dragon-themed stamps align with the Year of the Dragon 2024, ushering in a year brimming with limitless opportunities.
This limited-edition ‘Setem Ku’ set contains a sheetlet of five stamps featuring a dragon illustration and the Chinese character for "dragon" with a golden appearance made by hot stamping technique, visuals of the dragon, a festive celebration with drum performance, and Lunar New Year greetings written in Chinese. Furthermore, the set comes with a greeting card and an envelope with the stamps already affixed.
Singapore Post has unveiled the fifth set of stamps in the Chinese Zodiac series which includes two stamps designed by Lim An-Ling, an animator and illustrator who has been collaborating with Singapore Post since 2013.
There is also a pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with the complete set of stamps and cancelled with a special Zodiac Dragon postmark.
Apart from the stamps, Singapore Post has also launched a special Collector’s Sheet comprising a commemorative S$10 stamp, which was designed by Andy Koh. The design of the Sheet features a modern take on traditional Chinese paper cutting.
Taiwan’s Chunghwa Post has been issuing annual new year stamps since 2009. This year, it introduced two new year stamps and a souvenir sheet.
The NT$6 stamp (pictured left) features a purple dragon holding its head up high to welcome the new year, while the NT$13 stamp’s (pictured right) green dragon represents a new year of power wishing everyone good health and wealth to perfection.
In addition, the souvenir sheet features a golden dragon soaring above the common crowd, symbolising a new year of luck reaching the heavens and fortune on high.
“We wish you all peace, prosperity and love for the coming New Year, ” said Luis D. Carlos, postmaster general of PHLPost as it released the new “Year of the Wooden Dragon” stamps. The stamps are designed by the PHLPost in-house graphic artist Ryman Dominic L. Albuladora.
PHLPost said that the Dragon is a symbol of strength, courage, creativity and innovation. The Dragon is a Yang symbol and it is associated with fire, and the Post believes that the positivity of the Dragon will boost in the new year that will bring happiness, potential and opportunity to everyone.
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