Week Two is another strong week for New Issues with a number of heavy-issuers (such as the United States, France and Russia) releasing their first stamps of 2020. Thailand has its second set of the year scheduled for Saturday, 11 January, although this may be shifted back a day or two.
As of today (5 January), there are three issues for the forthcoming week that I have not yet been able to find images for (Hungary, Russia and UN-Geneva). I created a few place-holder articles with an “Image Unavailable” design so it will be easy to update once I do find artwork.
Jersey Post announced the first half of its 2020 stamp programme on 4 December 2019.
03 January 2020
Lunar New Year — Year of the Rat
Date of issue: 3 January 2020 Designer: Wang Huming Sheet: 10 Size: 36mm x 36mm (52p stamp); 95mm x 125mm, 60mm x 60mm (£1.00 souvenir sheet) Process: Four colour offset litho + gold metallic with varnish
The fifth issue in our Lunar New Year stamp series celebrates the lunar Zishu year (2020) which is the Year of the Rat. Also known as the Spring Festival, it is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. It is celebrated by Chinese and ethnic communities around the world and is a time when families come together. In Chinese culture, rats are seen as a sign of fertility, wealth and surplus. They are clever, quick thinkers and often successful. People born in the year of the Zishu rat are multi-talented. They are strong-willed and always finish what they begin.
The 52p stamp, designed by Wang Huming in Beijing, China, shows a rat in gold against a red background.
The stamp denotes the Chinese fable Rat Biting Started the World. In Chinese culture, it is said that before the beginning of the world there was only chaos. Legend has it the Rat bravely took a bite out of the sky, sunlight came in through the opening, then Yin separated from Yang, and the world started. The stamp features a bowl that symbolises the world, which the rat opens from within. The Chinese seal which appears on the left side of the illustration symbolises the rat.
The Miniature Sheet depicts part of a Chinese folk story, which fables a rat marrying off his daughter to the most powerful suitor, also known as Mouse of Marriage. The illustration portrays the daughter rat sitting inside the palanquin (Jiao) as she is carried to her wedding ceremony. The whole scene is joyful and lively.