Year of the Ox

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Guernsey release stamps to celebrate the Year of the Ox, the eighth set in its Chinese New Year series, which begins on 12 February 2021. 

For the Ox set, artist Chrissy Lau, who has worked on Guernsey’s entire Chinese New Year series, has taken inspiration from the patterns found on Feng Shui ornaments, as, in China, it is common practice in China to display Feng Shui animal ornaments depicting coins and gold to attract good fortune.

Decorations associated with Chinese New Year, including oranges, lanterns and Chinese red packets, also feature on the stamp designs, whilst the Chinese symbol for ox appears on the top left of each stamp. The use of red symbolises good fortune and joy.

The 50p stamp features artwork entitled ‘Amongst the Clouds’, the cloud pattern represents good luck and fortune, as well as being a symbol of peace. The ‘Fortune Beckons’ stamp (68p) features an ox holding a lucky Chinese red packet, which are given to children during Chinese New Year celebrations. The ox’s right leg is raised on a stack of Chinese coins similar to Feng Shui statues, whilst its body displays a bat pattern akin to those seen on Chinese ceramics and bowls – a symbol of good luck and fortune. The ‘Fierce Fire’ ox (75p) wears his cloak of fortune, which he protects with his bucking stance. The popular Chinese fire pattern on the ox’s body often adorns textiles and ceramics.

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On the ‘Fortune Charm’ stamp (80p), the ox carries a popular Chinese New Year decoration of Chinese coins around its body, which are displayed to attract wealth and good fortune.

The Golden Dreams ox (95p) is seen nurturing her young calf. The fruits’ orange hue symbolises gold, which are displayed and gifted to create wealth and good fortune. On Treasure Celebrations (£1.02), an ox wears a Chinese New Year charm necklace, gold ingots and coins, in celebration of the festival. He holds a lantern on his tail with the Chinese word ‘fu’ (fortune).

Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post said:

‘Once again, Chrissy Lau has created a wonderfully striking yet intricate set of stamps for our Lunar New Year series. Complementing the stamps is a souvenir Sheet, which depicts an ox with a peony pattern symbolising richness and honour in Chinese culture, along with a presentation pack – Family Field – that features a hardworking family of oxen relaxing amongst the lotus roots and flowers in a rice paddy field.’

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