Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Canada, year of the pig

I have recently received some stamps from my friend Rob who lives in Canada. He sent me this cover that I wanted to share with you.
(click on the picture to zoom)

The cover bears the stamp and the souvenir sheet issued by the Canadian post on the 5th of January 2007 to commemorate the year of the pig. The postmark is a bit messy but overall the cover looks nice.
As you see the souvenir sheet contains one stamp and integrates also the design of the stamp issued separately.

The sun had already set as the last of the animals crossed the river. The Jade Emperor held his lantern above the pig's head and sighed in resignation as the pig explained: "I was hungry and stopped to eat. After the meal, I was so tired that I had to take a nap."

According to popular Chinese legend, this is how the pig became the final animal of the 12-year lunar cycle. The other animals, upon hearing that the Emperor would name each lunar year in order of each animal finishing the race across the river, had feverishly responded to his challenge.

An interesting point to be mentioned on the design of these stamps is the usage of "cloisonné". This is an art form that is thought to have originated in Beijing during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). This is a sophisticated enameling technique that integrates gold or bronze metal strips. The stamp's pig recalls this art form with foil-stamped flowers covering its body.
When you look closer at the stamps they effectively look embossed.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Just thought you might be interested...

A feng shui master was predicting that the year of the pig will be a difficult one for many people. Financially, he predicts a lot of changes in the work environment and that people will need to work harder to sustain a living. Relationship wise, he warns that love affairs will be tempting and people should behave themselves.

I guess we'll find out how true these predictions are at the end of the year. Gong Hay Fat Choi!