Monday, January 22, 2007

Lottery stamps from Japan

This is the time in the year when several postal administrations issue their stamps related to the lunar new year. We will soon leave the year of the dog to enter the year of the pig (or boar). I do not collect such stamps, but I’m always interested to see how a postal administration has chosen to illustrate Chinese horoscope.I recently received this cover from Japan.

The stamps on this cover are “New Year” stamps and they picture Chinese horoscope animals. The two stamps picturing a dog (the large one on the left part of the cover and the small one on the right) have been issued end of 2005. The two other ones picturing a board have been issued the 1st of November 2006. A nice cover that illustrates the transition from one year to another!
What triggered my curiosity is the number printed on the two large stamps. After some research I came to the conclusion that they are lottery stamps !
The first Japanese stamp for new year wishes was issued by Japan post in 1935. This stamp pictured the Mont Fuji. Since 1948, new year stamps are issued every year, and since 1949 they picture the Chinese horoscope animal of the year to come. Since November 1989 those stamps are printed with a unique number (usually in red) in order to participate to a huge lottery. In January of the following year, Japan post draws the lots of this lottery and the results are published on its website.
I do not know if such lottery stamps exist in other countries. I would be interested to hear from you if you know something more on this subject.


chickenstampy6669 said...

Hello Eric,

Did you win anything with these numers?
Did you check them on a side.
We don't have such stamps, why would anyone send them away? Or after check the results?


Rob said...

Hi Eric,

You always seem to find interesting stamps! :-) From what I have heard, Estonia has issued some Christmas lottery stamps. Not sure which year it started.


Eric said...

Yes I checked the website and I did not win :-(
Why someone would send such stamps ? I guess this is as offering a lottery ticket as a Xmas present....