World Stamps

Myanmar features its festivals and flowers in new series

Sep 23, 2019, 9 AM

New Stamps of the World by Denise McCarty

Myanmar is celebrating festivals, flowers and months of the traditional Burmese calendar on a series of 12 stamps this year.

A report by Jared Downing and Kyaw Lin Htoon on the Frontier Myanmar news site explains that most people in Myanmar use two calendars, "The internationally-adopted Gregorian calendar, and the Kawza Thekkarit, a traditional calendar that still marks religious days, state holidays and astrological conditions."

They added, "While the Gregorian calendar is measured by the sun, the Myanmar calendar is lunisolar, going by both the sun and the moon.”

The stamp series began Jan. 6 with a 200-kyat stamp featuring the royal equestrian festival and tropical clematis (Clematis smilacifolia). Both are associated with the month of Pyatho, which also started on Jan. 6 this year.

The series has continued with new 200k stamps issued on the first days of the months of Tabodwe (Feb. 5), Tabaung (March 6), Tagu (April 5), Kason (May 4), Nayon (June 3), Waso (July 2), Wagaung (Aug. 1) and Tawthalin (Aug. 30).

The Tawthalin stamp honors the regatta festival. It also pictures a flowering tree (Chukrasia tabularis).

Scheduled for the rest of the year are stamps for Thadingyut, Tazaungmon and Nadaw.

Wai Zin Paing designed all of the stamps in the series. He reportedly is a stamp collector and a member of the Burma (Myanmar) Philatelic Study Circle. The group, which is based in the United Kingdom, has members from around the world.

Myanmar’s Security Printing Works printed the stamps by offset in sheets of 30. The quantity printed of each stamp in the series is 150,000.

Myanmar has issued two other sets of stamps so far this year. Three stamps were issued Jan. 4 to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the national Independence Day. On Jan. 4, 1948, Burma declared its independence from Great Britain.

A set of 16 stamps issued Aug. 16 is part of the multination Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) series with the theme of national costumes.

The 100k stamps, which are in two blocks of eight, depict couples representing the costumes and dances of Myanmar's eight major ethnic groups: Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Chin, Mon, Bamar, Rakhine and Shan.


Brazil began a series of stamps in March featuring the signs of the zodiac.

The first stamp, issued March 21, highlights Aries, the ram. The design includes both a ram and a diagram of the Aries constellation. People born between March 21 and April 20 are considered to be Aries, and those dates are included in the design.

The other stamps already issued in the series follow the same basic design pattern: Taurus, April 21; Gemini, May 21; Cancer, June 21; Leo, July 22; Virgo, Aug. 23; and Libra, Sept. 23.

All of these Zodiac stamps are nondenominated, paying the basic domestic letter rate. Designed by Adriana Shibata, they were printed by the Brazilian Mint using the offset process and issued in panes of 24.

The remaining stamps in Brazil’s Zodiac series are scheduled to be issued Oct. 23 (Scorpio); Nov. 22 (Sagittarius); Dec. 22 (Capricorn); Jan. 20, 2020 (Aquarius); and Feb. 19 (Pisces).

On July 23, Brazil introduced another new stamp series: Brazilian Women That Made History. The six-stamp series will include women who are living.

The first issue honors samba singer and songwriter Elza Soares. The symbol for women, also known as the Venus symbol, is included in pink below the photograph of Soares in concert.

The second stamp in the series, issued Aug. 15, depicts basketball player Hortencia Marcari in a game at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games. Actress and television host Hebe Camargo (1929-2012) appears on the third stamp, issued Sept. 19.

Faroe Islands

A new series of stamps from the Faroe Islands focuses on textiles of local churches.

The two stamps issued Sept. 23 depict chasubles, outer liturgical vestments worn by Roman Catholic priests and also by some other members of the clergy, including Lutheran ministers in the Faroes.

The 11-krone stamp shows a red chasuble from the church in Sandvik on the island of Suduroy, and a green chasuble from the church in Funningur on Eysturoy is pictured on the 19kr stamp.

The series is expected to continue in 2020 and 2021, with one set each year.

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