Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A lovely cover from Hong Kong

Hi! Just a short posting for today. Here is a cover sent by Siew Lan from Hong Kong. Thanks for remembering me!

The lovely stamp franked on this cover was issued on 1st Oct 2009 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. It depicts the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. The Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven (天坛) is a complex of Taoist buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing, in Xuanwu District. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.
The temple complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, who was also responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The complex was extended and renamed Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century.

I have visited this temple in 2006 and it was awesome!

Monday, October 26, 2009

My third cover from Pakistan!

Many thanks to Ehsan Ur Rehman for this lovely cover sent from Islamabad, Pakistan!
This cover is actually a FDC commemorating the 60th Anniversary of diplomatic relationship between Pakistan & the Philippine in 2009.
To make up for the postage, Rehman used another 4 stamps. As previously discussed, the first stamp franked from the right belongs to the "Muhammad Ali Jinnah" definitive stamp issued in 1998.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876 – 1948) was a lawyer and politician who fought for the cause of India's independence from Britain, then moved on to found a Muslim state in Pakistan in 1947. Jinnah entered politics in India in 1905 and by 1917 his charisma and diplomacy had made him a national leader and the most visible supporter of Hindu-Muslim unity. His strong belief in gradual and peaceful change was in contrast to the civil disobedience strategies of Mohandas Gandhi, and in the '20s Jinnah broke from the Indian National Congress to focus on an independent Muslim state. In 1940 he demanded a separate nation in Pakistan and by 1947 he somehow managed to get it from the British and India. Through civil wars, a rotten economy and millions of displaced refugees, Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah ("great leader") pretty much built a country from scratch.
The Rs.10 stamp was issued on 8 March 2007 to commemorate the International Women's day. The IWD is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women.
Next, we have two beautiful stamps from the "Medicinal Plants of Pakistan" series, issued on 28 October 2006. They depicts Chamomilla and Aloe vera.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A lovely red cross cover from France!

Another great French cover from Jérôme. Thank you very much my friend!

The 4 beautiful stamps franked on this awesome cover were part of a lovely sourvenir sheet issued by La Poste in 2009 to commemorate the 150-year anniversary of the Red Cross.

This souvenir sheet shows the Battle of Solferino, and contains 5 different 0.56 Euro stamps: Henry Dunant, the Battle of Solferino, Georges Braque peace doves, the Geneva Conventions, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Founded by Henry Dunant (1828 - 1910) after the Battle of Solferino, Italy, the French Red Cross association is now engaged in a non-lucrative service activity in health, social and training fields, with 16,000 employees in over 600 establishments.

Au revoir!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My first cover from Macau!

The annual "Macau International Fireworks Display Contest" not only lights up the nights of Macau, but also the philatelic scene. On 2nd September 2004, Macau Post issued a set of 4 spectacular stamps plus a miniature sheet to commemorate the 16th Macau International Firworks Display Contest.Three of these stamps can be seen on the lovely cover sent by Myron. Thank you very much!
The Macau International Fireworks Display Contest first started in 1989 and has been held annually since. By 1995, the event has developed from the original five-team contest to a ten-team event, with two different teams showing their expertise each night.
For the past years, over 100 international teams from China, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan China, Japan, Korea, Australia, United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain have taken part in the "Macau International Fireworks Display Contest".It has grown over the years into an internationally acclaimed event, one of the best of its kind.

For your info, Tamaya Art Pyro Technics from Japan won the contest in 2004.
That's all for today folks! Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 23, 2009

A lovely postcard from Finland!

Many thanks to Johanna for giving me the chance to share with you guys this beautiful postcard franked with a gorgeous stamp from Pori, Finland.
This postcard shows the national flower of Finland, Convallaria majalis or commonly known as Lily-of-the-Valley. This flower can be easily recognized because of its good fragrance and shape which is bell shape flower drop. The lily-of-the-Valley which is white in color looks like a wedding bell. The shape of this flower and its soothing fragrance makes it a perfect choice when it comes to wedding decoration and wedding bouquets. Lily-of-the-Valley blooms in the spring and has a long lasting beauty.
I have not seen these flowers before but I think that they are awesome!
On 6 May 2009, Finnish Post Service issued a beautiful minature sheet, titled "Fashion". This miniature sheet with five 1st class non-value indicator stamps features drawings of creations by six young Finnish designers who have achieved international success: dresses by Jasmin Santanen and Tuomas and Anna Laitinen, shoes by Minna Parikka and Julia Lundsten, and a handbag by Sanna Kantola. All these accessories are from this year's spring collections.
We can see the right portion of the minature sheet franked on this postcard.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A lovely cover from Brazil!!

Yesterday, I received this lovely cover from Porto Alegre, the largest city in southern Brazil. Courtesy of Sandro Scherer Miler. Thank you so much!!
Franked on this cover is a set of beautiful stamps featuring 3 highly endangered monkeys of Brazil. They are Golden lion tamarins, Emperor tamarins and Pied tamarin respectively. These stamps were issued in 1994.

More than 25% of the world's primates, roughly 95 species, are found in Brasil particularly the Amazonia, making it one of the most diversified regions in the world. It's no wonder that this rich and diverse wildlife is reflected on its postage stamps
The Golden Lion Tamarin is a small New World monkey of the family Callitrichidae. Native to the Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil, the Golden Lion Tamarin is an endangered species with an estimated wild population of "more than 1,000 individuals" and a captive population maintained at approximately 490 individuals.Emperor tamarins are thought to have been named after the Emperor of Germany, Emperor Wilhelm II, due to their long, white moustaches. Their bodies are grey/brown with white under-parts and their tails are orange/red. The Pied tamarin is a small monkey found in tropical forests, particularly secondary and edge forests, in a small area around the city of Manaus in Brazil. In adults, the head is bald, with black skin, which along with the large ears, gives this tamarin a striking look.

This cover was postmarked in Porto Alegre, Brazil on 8th October 2009 and took 13 days to travel an estimated distance of 17,230kms.

And here is a picture of Emperor Wilhelm II.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lovely covers from China!

Founded on 1st October 1949, the People's Republic of China celebrates her 60th anniversary this year. In celebrate of this occasion, China Post issued a lovely set of 4 stamps and a souvenir sheet.

Here are 4 covers franked with stamps on this theme sent by fellow blogger, Zhou Fan. Thank you very much!

The names of the first two stamps are "Founding Ceremony (开国大典)" and "The Return of Hong Kong and Macao (港澳回归)".
As you can see, 2 of the covers bear the same stamps devoted to the Reform and Opening-up Policy in China (改革开放). I am sure the identicals were sent out mistakenly by Zhou Fan. And this is what I am missing.

Olympic Pageant (奥运盛典)

In addition, a gorgeous souvenir sheet titled "Homeland in My Heart (祖国在我心中)" completes this set. It is also interesting to note that these covers are actually Cécogramme, meaning a letter or a package containing documents sent or received by visually impaired people or by assisting organizations. Two types of documents are accepted in such mail; embossed documents (e.g. texts written in the Braille alphabet) and sound documents such as audio books. Cécogramme can be identified by the word Cécogramme printed on the cover and also by a special label.

In some countries, Cécogramme can be sent for free. In China, I assumed that they are highly subsidized. In this case, 1.20yuan (US$0.17 or SGD0.245) to send registered!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another awesome Slovak cover!

As promised, here is the second awesome cover sent by Robert Brnka. Thank you once again!

This cover is actually a postal stationery cover, issued in 2009. The pre-printed € 0.40 stamp (top right corner) shows the same design as the first euro denominated definitive series issued by Slovak Post in early 2009. This set was devoted to religious buildings of the country.

The lovely stamp franked on the upper row, left was issued on 18 December 2002 to commemorate the Nitrafila International Philatelic Exhibition held in Nitra in June 2003.

The stamp in the middle on the upper row was issued on 21 December 2007 to celebrate Slovakia entering the "Schengen area". Basically the Schengen system ensures that document checks at borders between two countries which are members of the EU is abolished. In order to be able to be included in it, countries must make sure they have secured their borders with non-EU members.

The first and third stamps franked on the second row were issued by Slovak Post to commemorate the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava. BIB is the international competitive exhibition of illustrations for children books. The stamps depict the works of Slovak artist Dušan Kállay (1995) and Jana Kiselová-Siteková (2003) respectively. In the middle of the 2 Biennial stamps is a stamp issued on 10 March 2003 to celebrate Easter. Easter customs in Slovakia go back as far as pre-Christian times. It shows a young girl in traditional costume of the Vajnory region holding a "Lesola" (a twig decorated with painted eggs and ribbons of color), symbolizing spring season.
Next is a lovely stamp from the "International Year of Family" series, issued on 29 April 1994.

Last but not least, we have a beautiful stamp belonging to the "150 Years of Railroads in Slovakia" series, issued on 20 August 1998.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Awesome cover from Slovakia!

Once again I would like to express my gratitude to Robert Brnka for sending me another 2 awesome covers from Slovakia! Thank you very much!The lovely stamp franked on the extreme left of this cover belongs to the Slovak Towns definitive series. It was issued on 15 March 1995 to honor Nitra, a city in western Slovakia. Situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra, it is the fourth largest city in Slovakia. Nitra is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia and the country's earliest political and cultural center. This stamp depicts Nitra Castle, a national cultural monument since 1981. It is the most precious heritage left to Nitra by its ancestors and dominates the panorama of the city. Next, we have a beautiful stamp with tab to commemorate Postage stamp day 2008. It features the 1st Post link connecting Bratislava - Ružomberok - Košice.

Second from the right, we have a stamp from the "Museum´s Treasury - Gospel-Book of Nitra" series, issued on 22 September 2007.
Nitra's gospel-book is considered to be the oldest preserved book produced in Slovakia, dating back to pre-1083. It is a liturgical book containing extracts from gospels that were read during Sundays and the religious holidays of the church year. Of the original 54 parchment-foils measuring 285x195 mm, as many as 50 were preserved. The foils are bound and inserted into thick wooded covers, and lined in purple velvet. Deep silver and gold-plated relief was attached to the covers in the 14th to 15th centuries – as illustrated on the presented postage stamp.

Obviously, the extreme right stamp is from the Martial Arts series, issued on 13 March 2009.

The stamp franked on second row, left was issued on 31st of May 1994 to commemorate the World No Tobacco Day, in collaboration with the World Health Organization. This special day is observed around the world every year on May 31. It draws global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to its negative health effects. The day aims to reduce the 5.4 million yearly deaths from tobacco related health problems
Lastly, we have a beautiful stamp to honor Aurel Stodola. It was issued on 17 April 2009. Aurel Stodola was a Slovak engineer, physicist, and inventor. He was a pioneer in the area of technical thermodynamics and its applications and published his book Die Dampfturbine in 1903. In addition to the thermodynamic issues involved in turbine design the book discussed aspects of fluid flow, vibration, stress analysis of plates, shells and rotating discs and stress concentrations at holes and fillets. Stodola was a professor of mechanical engineering at the Swiss Polytechnical Institute (now ETH) in Zurich. One of his students was Albert Einstein.

That's all for today. I will save the second cover for the next posting. See you again!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

2 Beautiful covers from Turkey!

Today, I would like to share with you guys 2 beautiful covers from Turkey. Courtesy of fellow blogger, Ahmet Demir. Thank you!

The 2 rose stamps franked on both matching covers (drawn by Ahmet himself) belong to a set of 4 lovely stamps from the " Flowers" series, issued in 1960.
The 4 stamps franked on the extreme right corner of both covers were issued on 16th March 2009 to commemorate the 5th World Water Forum. These stamps make up a set.
The last stamp franked on the second cover is from the Mustafa Kemal Atatürk definitive series, issued in 2009. There are 10 denominations in this set.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938), Turkish soldier, nationalist leader, and statesman, who founded the republic of Turkey and was its first president (1923-1938). The name Atatürk (Father Turk) was bestowed upon him in 1934 by the Grand National Assembly as a tribute for his unique service to the Turkish nation.
Both covers were postmarked in Pasaport Izmir, Turkey on 09th October 2009 and took 7 days to reach me.

That's all folks! Enjoy your weekend!

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