On 18th January, Canada Post released domestic and international-rate stamps to celebrate Year of the Pig. As per Chinese calendar, Year of the Pig begins on 5th February and ends on 24th January 2020. Canada Post’s 12-year Lunar New Year series began in 2009. The first stamp in the series was issued to celebrate Year of Ox. The 2019 stamp would be the 11th stamp in this series. The final stamp in the series will be released in 2020 to celebrate Year of the Rat.
The domestic-rate Year of the Pig stamp features the letter “P” which stands for Permanent Rate. They are available in embossed, foiled panes of 25 or in a booklet of 10. The international-rate stamp comes in a six-stamp booklet and in a single-stamp foiled and embossed souvenir sheet.
Albert Ng and Seung Jai Paek created the designs which are based on a character named Zhu Bajie, from the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West. Zhu Bajie or Pigsy was initially a powerful character who lived in heaven. However, he was sent to earth as a human-pig hybrid because of his misbehaviour. The domestic-rate stamp depicts Pigsy in armour, holding a nine-toothed muck-rake. The $2.65 international-rate stamp shows him in casual attire.
The pane of 25 permanent stamps depicts calligraphy which translates to “May our world be filled with blessings”; “always smiling, always happy”; “casual phenomena signal peace and prosperity”; and “harmony brings wealth.” These sayings are popular in Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking regions.
A transitional souvenir sheet with the international-rate Year of the Dog and the Year of the Pig stamps; a souvenir sheet first-day cover; an uncut press sheet of 12 international-rate souvenir sheets with a print run of 7,000; and non-denominated domestic and international-rate picture postal cards, each at the rate of $2.65, are also being offered. The stamps were printed by Colour Innovations using lithography and foil stamping. 40,000 panes of 25 permanent stamps; 270,000 permanent booklet stamps; 50,000 $2.65 booklet stamps; 120,000 souvenir sheets of one $2.65 stamp; and 60,000 souvenir sheets of two are available.
Image Courtesy: Canada Post