Guernsey Post announces the release of stamps to celebrate the Year of the Rooster, the fourth instalment of its Chinese New Year series (release date 18 January).
Created by Sydney-based illustrator Chrissy Lau, each of the six stamps takes inspiration from the Chinese zodiac and feature richly patterned roosters, which are said to symbolise good luck and fortune.
One stamps depicts a rooster crowing as the sun comes up, reflecting Chinese folklore that the rooster represents ferocity, courage and faithfulness, as it calls to the sun every morning. Its red cockscomb resembles a scholar’s hat, whilst feng shui good luck statues inspire the Chinese coin pattern to its body.
Also taking inspiration from feng shui statues is a stamp depicting two roosters standing amongst gold ingots and coins to symbolise wealth and fortune. One of the roosters stands higher than the other, a symbol often used to congratulate newly appointed officials or those receiving a promotion.
Chinese flower patterns include the cockscomb (celosia) flower pattern, as seen on the rooster standing on its own, which is a Chinese motif for ‘may you be granted the good things that come with continual promotions’.
According to Chinese traditions, the chrysanthemum pattern seen on the rooster with an egg represents nobility and longevity. The wing tips have a simple cloud design that is often seen on the outer edges of ceramics; when repeated in a pattern this symbolises never-ending fortune.
The two roosters pecking have a prunus (flowering cherry) pattern to their bodies, which is the first flower to bloom in spring. Often seen in Chinese New Year imagery, it symbolises courage and hope as it bravely stands against the harsh winter. Food symbolism plays an important role during Chinese New Year and the depiction of a Chinese cabbage between the roosters is significant, as the Chinese name for the cabbage is homophonous with the words ‘hundred’ and ‘wealth’.
Two limited edition products are also available: a numbered gold foil replica of the souvenir sheet, which is produced in 24 carat gold (99.9% pure) and inside an acrylic display stand with a certificate of authenticity. Uncut printers’ sheets, supplied in a protective tube with a certificate bearing the issue number, are also available.
Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post said: – “I am delighted that we were able to work with talented illustrator Chrissy Lau on the fourth issue for our Lunar New Year series, as she has again reflected her understanding of Chinese heritage into the stamps, which also feature additional gold highlights for added impact.”