Stamps of 2023: French Polynesia

Jan. 20, 2023

Year of the Water Rabbit

French Polynesia will release its Year of the Rat stamp on January 20, designed by Claude Sengues and printed using offset lithography by Phil@Poste in France. The 140-franc stamp comes in sheets of ten and measures 36 x 36 mm.

In Chinese culture, the rabbit has the unique characteristic of waiting for an opportune moment and then leaping into action. More than any other zodiac animal, the rabbit symbolizes luck. In the zodiac origin story about the Great Race, all of the animals who would go on to become zodiac animals needed to race across a wide river. The rabbit crossed the river by jumping from one stone to another in a nimble fashion. Halfway across, the rabbit appeared to be losing the race, but was lucky enough to grab hold of a floating log that later washed him to shore.

There are also several regional superstitions regarding rabbits in China. In northwestern China, buns shaped like rabbits are popular at weddings. The bride’s mother personally cooks the buns for her daughter, who takes some to her husband. This is done in hopes that the couple will soon give birth to children.

Not all superstitions involving rabbits are positive, however. For example, some people forbid pregnant women from eating rabbit meat out of the fear that their babies will be born with a harelip.

One thought on “Stamps of 2023: French Polynesia

  1. Pingback: Stamps of 2023: Monthly Wrap-Up (January) | Mark Joseph Jochim

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