Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009

The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival or sometimes called the Lunar New Year, which begins on 26 Jan is only 2 days away. This day also marks the beginning of the year of the Ox.

To celebrate this special occasion, I searched my albums for stamps relating to it and have found 2 of them which I am happy to share it with you. The first is a cover which i recently received from an eBayer in Canada. This cover was franked with a triplet of Ox stamps to commemorate the coming Ox year. Isn't it a beauty? Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in Ox years tend to be painters, engineers, and architects. They are stable, fearless, obstinate, hard-working and friendly. BTW, i am a dragon.

Back to the cover... as we can see, the stamps are cancelled by straight lines postmarks. The problem with this type of cancel is that there is no posted date stamped. Hence, there is no way to calculate the exact number of days it takes to reach it's final destination. Luckily, the sender emailed to update me on the posted date. Accordingly, it took only 6 days and had travelled a distance of approximately 12,846km or 7,982miles from Burnaby in Canada to Singapore! The second is a souvenir sheet issued by China on Jan 2000, picturing a family having a reunion dinner. To the Chinese, the reunion dinner holds great significance and is an important event which is held on New Year's Eve where members of the family, near and far, get together for celebration. The New Year's Eve dinner is a feast and traditionally includes chicken. Fish (魚, ) is included, but not eaten up completely (and the remaining stored overnight), as the Chinese phrase 年年有魚/餘; (nián nián yǒu , or "every year there is fish/leftover") is a homophone for phrases which could mean "be blessed every year" or "have profit every year", since "" is also the pronunciation for "surplus". A type of black hair-like algae, pronounced "fat choy" in Cantonese, is also featured in many dishes since its name sounds similar to "prosperity".

Click on the zodiac banner below to peek at your fortune of Career, Money Love and Health in this coming new year

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