Jan. 5, 2023
Year of the Rabbit
The animals of the Chinese zodiac are more than lucky numbers and personalities, they symbolize a deep connection with China’s ancient cultural heritage. Like all the Chinese zodiac animals, rabbits have a unique place in Chinese history, mythology, and customs.
When Westerners gaze at the 月亮 (yuèliang; moon), they may jokingly say that the moon is made out of cheese or that they see the Man in the Moon. When a Chinese person looks at the moon, however, they most certainly will see the Jade Rabbit (玉兔 Yùtù) standing under a cassia tree holding a precious elixir. Like the Chinese zodiac itself, the legend of the Jade Rabbit has many different origin stories. One of the most common stories in China begins with the Jade Emperor disguising himself as a beggar. Once disguised, he embarks on a journey to find a worthy animal to help him prepare the elixir of life.
In this tale, the Rabbit willingly attempts to sacrifice himself as food for the beggar by jumping into a fire. However, the Rabbit is saved by the Jade Emperor, who then carries the Rabbit to the moon where he helps create the elixir of life. Those looking for the Jade Rabbit will find his outline on the moon with his pestle and mortar, mixing the divine elixir to this day.
The concept of the Chinese zodiac has spread to other Asian countries, but other cultures have slightly different interpretations regarding the Jade Rabbit. In Japan, the Old Man of the Moon brings the Rabbit back to the moon to live with him because of the Rabbit’s great kindness. According to this myth, the image seen on the surface of the moon is of a rabbit pounding out mochi rice cakes, not the elixir of life.
On January 5, 2023, Guernsey will release six stamp designs in full sheets of ten stamps for each design as well as a miniature sheet containing one of each stamp. According to Guernsey Post,
We are delighted to release the tenth set of stamps in our series to mark the Chinese New Year, which is China’s oldest festival and the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar.
Our latest stamps celebrate 2023 being the Year of the Rabbit, according to the Chinese Zodiac.
The stamps have been designed by artist Chrissy Lau, who has worked on our entire Chinese New Year series. Chrissy features red as the primary colour to symbolise good fortune and joy, which is used in celebrations like Lunar New Year. The touches of gold represent wealth, prosperity and happiness.Guernsey Stamps and Collectibles
56p Stamp: Red Packet Rabbit
79p Stamp: Carrot Rabbit
87p Stamp: Longevity Rabbit
£1.21 Stamp: Golden Coin Rabbit
£1.39 Stamp: Chrysanthemum Mother & Baby Rabbit
£1.50 Stamp: Double Fortune
Date of Issue: 5 January 2023
Designer: Chrissy Lau
Printer: Southern Colour Print
Values: 56p, 79p, 87p £1.21, £1.39, £1.50
Process: Offset Lithography
Stamp Size: 30mm deep x 40mm wide
Sheet Size: 100mm deep x 140mm wide
Paper: Arconvert Securpost Premium Gummed 110gsm
Perforation: 13.33 x 13.60
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