World Stamps

UNPA pane of 10 $1.20 stamps celebrates the Year of the Rat

Dec 26, 2019, 10 AM
The United Nations Postal Administration celebrates the Year of the Rat on this pane of 10 $1.20 stamps and labels to be issued Jan. 10.

By Denise McCarty

The United Nations Postal Administration’s Year of the Rat pane of 10 stamps and labels is the 11th in its Chinese Lunar Calendar series. Scheduled to be issued Jan. 10, the pane contains 10 $1.20 stamps and 10 labels.

The stamps are for use from the UNPA post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City, and the $1.20 denomination meets the new United States Postal Service international letter rate that will go into effect Jan. 26.

The stamp design depicts the U.N. emblem in blue on a white background. The year date “2020” is in the upper-right corner.

The label shows a symbolic rat in red on a background of flowers and foliage in gold. The rat is decorated with flowers in shades of blue, green, yellow and orange.

An enlarged image of the symbolic rat is featured in the selvage on the left side of the pane. The top of the pane includes Chinese calligraphy in the upper left, the English text “Chinese Lunar Calendar” and “Celebrating the Year of the Rat 2020” in the center, and the U.N. emblem in gold on the right.

Chinese artist Yin Huili created the illustration of the rat for the label and the selvage. The artist’s name is inscribed in gold on the right side of the pane above the copyright emblem and “UN 2020,” also in gold.

The rat is the first animal of the 12-year lunar cycle.

According to the China Travel Guide website, “Though people consider the rat not adorable, and it even makes its way into derogatory languages, it ranks first on the Chinese zodiac signs. It has characteristics of an animal with spirit, wit, alertness, delicacy, flexibility and vitality.”

The Year of the Rat begins Jan. 25, 2020, and ends Feb. 11, 2021.

For ordering information, visit the U.N. Stamps website; email unpanyinquiries@un.org; telephone 212-963-7684, or 800-234-8672; or write to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900.

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