This morning at the Vancouver Main Post Office, Canada Post released its two-stamp 2017 Year of the Rooster issue, the ninth in its most recent series honouring the Lunar New Year.
A Permanent domestic-rate stamp depicts a rooster with its chest proudly puffed out, and an international-rate stamp offers a closely cropped profile view of the rooster’s stately face. Both images are created from lines of gold foil.
“Canada Post is proud to celebrate the vibrant and festive occasion that is the Lunar New Year, which is marked by Canadians of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and other East Asian heritage,” said Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra. “The annual unveiling of this stamp issue has become a much-anticipated event, with the artistry of the series praised by both collectors and mailers.”
Designed by Paprika, a firm in Montréal, the stamps include several special features. The pane of 25 domestic-rate stamps includes four Chinese blessings, presented in calligraphy by Albert Ng. While all 2017 stamps will include elements to mark Canada’s sesquicentennial, this issue’s reference is two-fold. The words “Canada 150” appear dropped out of the tagging that surrounds the stamps, an effect visible only under a black light; however, on the uncut press sheet and pane of 25 domestic stamps, a gold foil sesquicentennial logo is visible to the naked eye. The international-rate official first day cover (OFDC), which also features a traditional Chinese blessing, is unsealed to enable the Chinese New Year tradition of giving money in a red envelope.
Both the domestic- and international-rate stamps are self-adhesive and measure 32 mm x 32 mm. The domestic stamp is available in booklets of 10 and panes of 25, and the international stamp in booklets of 10. The issue also includes a gummed souvenir sheet of both stamps, a gummed transitional souvenir sheet featuring both the 2016 Year of the Monkey and 2017 Year of the Rooster international stamps, an uncut press sheet and Official First Day Covers for both stamp denominations.
The Year of the Rooster begins on Jan. 28, 2017 and runs until Feb. 15, 2018. The Rooster—one of 12 animals to appear in the Lunar Calendar—is considered a sign of good fortune because its name is pronounced similarly to the word jí, meaning lucky or auspicious. Those born under this sign are known for being successful, courageous, confident, honest, hard working and punctual.
2005 ROOSTER STAMPS
Canada Post also issued two Lunar Calendar stamps in 2005, the previous “Year of the Rooster.”
A domestic-rate stamp (then 50 cents) was printed with six ink colours in different shades of grey to retain the look of an ink painting. To provide a sense of richness, embossing was added for texture and two colours of foil were applied in the traditional red and gold of the Lunar New Year. Subtle gold-foil spotting in the stamp’s background suggests the ancient practice of using handmade paper made with flecks of gold leaf.
An international-rate stamp (then $1.45) was available on an individual souvenir sheet or an uncut press sheet of twelve. This stamp features added richness with embossing, 10 ink colours and three foils in red and two shades of gold. The stamps appear within an oval that recalls one of the traditional fan shapes, on a greenish background that resembles raw silk.