Ox stamps usher in Canada’s second 12-year Chinese New Year series
Last updated 1-22-09 at 7:05 p.m.
Chinese Canadian artist Gao Shuhui (second from right) attends the launching ceremony of year of ox stamp in Vancouver, Canada, on Jan. 8. The stamp was issued by the Canada Post to mark the lunar year of 2009.
By Zhao Qing
Xinhua News Agency
VANCOUVER (Xinhua) — On Jan. 8 Canada Post issued its Year of the Ox stamps to welcome the Chinese New Year, which also marked the launching of the agency’s second 12-year Lunar New Year series.
Two new stamps — one domestic and one international — and a souvenir sheet were unveiled at the Chinese Cultural Center of Greater Vancouver, in front of hundreds of audience members, including Chinese Consular General in Vancouver Liang Shugen.
“The unveiling of the new stamps demonstrates Canada Post’s endeavor in promoting multicultural spirit in this country and will surely benefit the whole society,” Liang said at the launching ceremony.
The domestic permanent stamp, bearing the postage rate of 52 Canadian cents,features an illustration of an ox before a mountainous landscape. Plum blossoms are dotted on the background of the stamp and pane of 25.
The international stamp, at 1.65 Canadian dollars, features a pottery work of Vancouver Chinese artist Shu Hwei Kao. The image of an ox and the Chinese character for ox are positioned separately in the up-left and bottom-left corners.
Chief designer Ivan Novotny said the plum blossoms, which symbolize life, rebirth, and overcoming adversity, are popular subjects in Chinese art and a common feature in Lunar New Year decor.
Pottery is chosen because it is heavily rooted in the Chinese history and its connection to the earth, as 2009 is the year of the earth ox, said Novotny, also vice president of Design at Toronto’s Taylor Sprules Corporation.
According to Chinese philosophy, everything is subject to the influence of the five elements of water, metal, earth, wood and fire. The elements rotate every year, and each is associated with specific character traits. In the case of earth, it links to stability, industry and practicality.
Shu Hwei Kao, one of very few Chinese pottery makers living in Canada, said that her work being used in the stamps gave her a stronger sense of being a member of the multicultural society.
The issuing of the Lunar New Year stamps will help Canadians gain a better understanding of the Chinese culture, she said at the ceremony. (end)
LUNAR NEW YEAR ISSUE