The United Nations continues Lunar New Year series with Jan. 20 issue
By David Hartwig
The United Nations Postal Administration will begin its 2023 stamp program Jan. 20 with a pane of 10 stamps and labels celebrating the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese lunar calendar.
The stamps are denominated $1.40 for use from the post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City. At the time of issue, the denomination will meet the United States Postal Service’s international letter and postcard rates. Both rates will increase to $1.45 Jan. 22 (Linn’s, Oct. 31, page 1).
This pane, which UNPA calls a “special event sheet,” continues a new design and format introduced in 2022 for the Lunar New Year stamp series.
The 2022 stamps for the Year of the Tiger (Scott 1290-1291), designed by Chinese artist Tiger Pan (or Pan Hu), show a tiger walking through a thick patch of flora outlined in gold against a white background. Pan also illustrated UNPA’s 2018 Year of the Dog stamp pane (1187).
Pan’s artwork returns in 2023 for the Year of the Rabbit stamp designs, which show a rabbit imposed over a gold circle surrounded by outlines of decorative shapes.
In the pane of 10, five stamps show the rabbit facing right and five show the rabbit facing left. Larger, mirrored versions of the stamp designs appear on the selvage to the left and right of the stamps.
English text states “Chinese Lunar Calendar” and “Year of the Rabbit 2023” next to Chinese calligraphy at both sides of the top of the selvage. Copyright dates and text crediting the artist appear at both sides of the bottom of the pane.
The labels on the pane show the U.N. logo and can be personalized. To do so, customers can visit UNPA stamp shops at the U.N. offices in New York City or Vienna, Austria, or upload their photos to the UNPA website.
The Year of the Rabbit will officially begin Jan. 22, 2023, and end Feb. 9, 2024. The rabbit is the fourth animal sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle, following the tiger and preceding the dragon.
Other recent Years of the Rabbit were 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951 and 1939.
The Chinese New Year website discusses some personality traits associated with men and women born in one of the rabbit years, describing both as polite. Men born in a rabbit year do whatever they can to avoid conflict, the website says, and women born in a rabbit year love to be social.
Cartor Security Printing of France printed the Year of the Rabbit stamps in 22,500 panes of 10. The stamps measure 40.6 millimeters by 29.8mm each, and the labels are 26.6mm by 29.8mm.
The UNPA will also offer a Year of the Rabbit postcard with the same design as the stamps.
For ordering information for the Year of the Rabbit stamps and postcard, visit the UNPA website; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or write to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900.
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