Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Albania - Traditional Costumes 2007

Albania - Traditional Costumes 2006

Albania - Traditional Costumes 2005

Albania National Costumes

This great wealth of artistic expression is neither the creation of a group of people nor of a specific historical period, but it is a common creation of the people during all epochs of history. This tradition derives since the ancient times.

Even a single item of folk dress decorated with multifarious motifs is in itself an exhibition of folk art.

The variety of motifs is also related to the specific living conditions which vary from one region to another, from one historical period to another.

Some of the motifs date back to ancient economic and social institutions assciated with primitive stage of development of society and art. Other motifs are related to later stages, from Illyrian art to the Middle Ages and up to contemporary times.

Size of Stamp: 30 mm x 42 mm
Painter: Naxhi Bakalli

Albania - Traditional Costumes 2004

Albania - Traditional Costumes 2003

Albania - Traditional Costumes 2002

Albania - Traditional Costumes 2001

Albania - Traditional Costumes 2000

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Greece - Traditional Costumes 1972

Date of Issue: 01 March 1972
Perforations: 12 1/2 x 13 1/2

Greek Regional Costumes:
0.50 Greece  Drachmae - Man Costume from Cretan
1.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Pindus
2.00 Greece  Drachmae - Man Costumes from Missolonghi
2.50 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Sarakatsan, Attica
3.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costumes from Island of Nisyros
4.50 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costumes from Megara
6.50 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costumes from Trikeri
10.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costumes from Pylaia, Macedonia

Greece - Traditional Costumes 1973

Date of Issue: 18 April 1973
Perforations: 12 1/2 x 13 1/2

Greek Regional Costumes:
0.10 Greece  Drachmae - Man Costume from Poloponnesus
0.20 Greece  Drachmae - Man Costume from Central Greece
0.30 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Locris
0.50 Greece  Drachmae - Man Costume from Skyros
1.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Spetsal
1.50 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Almyros
2.50 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Macedonia
3.50 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Salamis
4.50 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Epirus
5.00 Greece  Drachmae - Man Costume from Lefkas
6.50 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Skyros
8.50 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Corinth
10.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Corfu
15.00 Greece  Drachmae - Man Costume from Epirus
20.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Thessaly
30.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Macedonia
50.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Thrace

Greece - Traditional Costumes 1974

Date of Issue: 15 November 1974
Perforations: 12 1/2 x 13 1/2

Greek Regional Costumes:
0.20 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Megara
0.30 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Salamis
0.50 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Edipsos
1.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Kyme
1.50 Greece  Drachmae - Man Costume from Sterea Hellas
2.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Desfina
3.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Epirus
3.50 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Naousa
4.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Hasia
4.50 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Thasos
5.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Skopelos
6.50 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Epirus
10.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Pelion
25.00 Greece  Drachmae - Man Costume from Kerkyra
30.00 Greece  Drachmae - Women Costume from Boeotia

Bulgaria - Traditional Costumes 1993

Date of Issue: 16 December 1993
Stamp Size: 22mm x 33mm
Perforation: 13 3/4 : 14
Printing Process: Offset
Designer: Tekla Aleksieva

Regional Folk Costumes for Men:
1,00 Bulgarian Leva - Costume from Sofia
1.00 Bulgarian Leva - Costume from Plovdiv
2.00 Bulgarian Leva - Costume from Belogradchik
3.00 Bulgarian Leva 
- Costume from Shumen
3.00 Bulgarian Leva - Costume from Oryakhovitsa
8.00 Bulgarian Leva - Costume from Kurdzhali

Bulgaria - Traditional Costumes 2005

Date of Issue: 05 October 2005
Stamp Size: 29mm x 49mm
Perforation: 13
Printing Process: Offset
Designer: Anna Tuzsuzova

Women Folk Costumes:
0.20 Bulgarian Leva - Costume from Sofia
0.25 Bulgarian Leva - Costume from Pleven
0.45 Bulgarian Leva - Costume from Silven
0.80 Bulgarian Leva 
- Costume from Stara Zagora

Bulgaria - Regional Costumes 1975

Date of Issue: 30 June 1975
Perforation: 13

2 Bulgarian Stotinka - Costume of Gabrov
3 Bulgarian Stotinka - Costume of Trnsk
5 Bulgarian Stotinka - Costume of Vidin
13 Bulgarian Stotinka - Costume of Gocedelchev
18 Bulgarian Stotinka - Costume of Risen

Bulgaria - Regional Costumes 1961

Date of Issue: 28 January 1961
Perforation: 11

12 Bulgarian Stotinka - Costume of Kyustendil
16 Bulgarian Stotinka - Costume of Pleven
28 Bulgarian Stotinka - Costume of Sliven
45 Bulgarian Stotinka - Costume of Sofia
60 Bulgarian Stotinka - Costume of Rhodope
80 Bulgarian Stotinka - Costume of Karnobat

Romania - Folk Dances 1977

Date of Issue: 28 November 1977
Design: D.Dănilă 
Perforation: 13½

Calusarii Dances (Ritual Dances):

The tradition of the Calusari comes from the ancient times of Dacia and even today still keeps it’s pagan core. Once upon a time, Calusarii were priests of a solar cult. Lead by a great priest, their dances were much more then an initiation, were an exorcism. The great priest was the one that was asking the god for help while leading the army of the Calusari in their war with the evil spirits that took over the villages. More so, they used to take a vow of silence, the only one being allowed to talk being the leader who at varied times was requesting them to release certain war calls.

Xenophon ( Anabasis, VI,I 5-6) describes the ancient Thracian dance of the swords as such: “The Thracians started to dance, weapons in hand, on the sound of panpipes, while jumping in the air waving their daggers. At the end, after one of them overpowered another and all thought that the fallen one was dead: he fell with a great art”.

The great priest of the solar cult shared his knowledge with only one man who took his place. With the expansion of Christianity, pagan cults slowly dissipated, while the traditions remained rooted in the world of the Romanian villages. In this way, the Calusari remained a dance understood by less and less people. And yet, people still believe that watching the Calusarii dance brings good luck over the entire year. The Calusarii bring with them joy and protection against illness. The tradition says that each group of Calusarii gives life to the ritual dance and takes suffering away.

The Calusari are described as groups of odd numbered men, sworn to stay together in celibacy and ritual dancing for a period of nine years. Their secrets are to be never known. They are feared warriors who fight the “iele” (“them,” magical dancing maiden fairies).

According to the Romanian historian of religions, Mircea Eliade, the Calusari were known for “their ability to create the impression of flying in the air” which he believed represented both the galloping of a horse and the dancing of the fairies. Indeed, the group’s patron was the “Queen of the Fairies”, who was also known as Irodiada and Arada, and who Eliade connected with the folkloric figure Diana.

The origins of the Calusari are unknown, although the first written attestations are from the 17th century. Eliade noted that “Although the oath taken is made in the name of God, the mythic-ritual scenario enacted by the Calusari has nothing in common with Christianity”.

The Calusarii have to stay together for the sworn period to remain invulnerable and invested with the supernatural powers and if they break away from the group they would fall prey to the iele. But together, they can heal those possessed by evil spirits by performing their dancing and rituals around them.

The costumes worn by the Calusari are white, decorated with colorful sticks, hand made hankies, while the hats have beads and colored ribbons. The most important instrument is the flag, a four-five meters long stick on top of which are tied plants as garlic and wormwood, salt and white and red ribbons, sacred colors in the Dacian vision who connect the dance to the ancient rituals of Zamolxe.

The dance of the Calusari seems to be one of the oldest and most complex of the folk dances of Romania. The men who wished to enter the group of the Calusari came together outside the village, on the shore of a water, where, in a ritual, sworn to respect the rules of the group, including sexual abstinence. For ten days they live in a sacred time and space. During the entire period they wear a specific costume with bells on the legs, a stick, and sleep under churches to be protected by attacks from the Iele. The ceremony included magical practices and invocations, dances and ritual acts executed by the strictly organized group of men. After the ceremonial dances are finished at the end of the ten days, the men meet in the village, greet each other like after a long absence and life goes back to normal.

The dance of the Calusari, in the popular tradition, meets different functions including the magical transfer of the divine fertility through spells during the dance over salt for animals and a bowl with seeds for sowing in the fields. Other benefits were of speeding up the marriage and fertility of the young women who were admitted into the end dance, healing of the sick and the sending away of the Iele (malefic fairies) through the practice of warrior acts and the used of magical plants during the dance.

The Calusari dance is considered one of the fastest and most spectacular dances in the world and was included by UNESCO on the list of non material masterpieces of the universal culture.

Romania - Traditional Costumes 1979

Date of Issue: 27 October 1979
Design: D.Dănilă
Perforation: 13½

0.20 Romanian Bani - Costumes from Maramures
0.40 Romanian Bani - Costumes from Maramures
0.55 Romanian Bani - Costumes from Vrancea
1.50 Romanian Lei - Costumes from Vrancea
3.00 Romanian Lei - Costumes from Padureni
3.40 Romanian Lei - Costumes from Padureni

Romania - Traditional Costumes 1973

Date of Issue: 15 March 1973
Design: D.Dănilă 
Perforation: 13½

0.10 Romanian Bani - Costumes from Suceava
0.40 Romanian Bani - Costumes from Suceava
0.55 Romanian Bani - Costumes from Harghita
1.75 Romanian Lei - Costumes from Harghita
2.75 Romanian Lei - Costumes from Gorj
6.40 Romanian Lei - Costumes from Gorj

Friday, May 25, 2018

Finland - National Costumes 2018

Miniature Sheet Size: 130 x 110 mm
Stamp size: 37 x 25 mm and 25 x 30 mm
Edition: 100,000 miniature sheets
Printing method: 5/1 offset
Artist: Minna Luoma

National costumes are full of elaborate details

Graphic designer Minna Luoma is designing a mini sheet featuring two national costumes. The costume of the goddess represents the Western-Finnish tradition and Jääsken costume of Karelian craftsmanship and costume. The miniature sheet depicts the entire national costume and the magnifying glasses have magnified the fine details designed for the costumes, among others. a gunshot and a firecracker.

Photo-based signs are designed in close cooperation with the National Waxing Center. There are more than 400 national collections in Finland, which are a part of the sheepskin fashion for a couple of centuries.

The world of clothing is not strange to Minna Luomä, because she has studied textile art besides graphic design. - Skilfully designed national costumes represent sustainable development and combinations of suits can also be a good idea for today's dress, Luoma's hint.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Malta - Traditional Costumes 2018

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 09 February 2018
Designer: Photography courtesy of Heritage Malta Designed by MaltaPost
Process: Offset
Size: Sheet size - 185mmx118mm - stamps 31mm x 44mm
Values: 26c, 59c and €1.16

About Traditional Costumes 2018

Daily life in modern Maltese history was mainly dependent on two distinct economic spheres. The Grand Harbour area was centred on maritime activity, which along the centuries was driven by trade, industry, strategic importance and wartime replenishment, thereby generating years of considerable prosperity. Up to the mid-twentieth century the rest of the archipelago remained heavily reliant on agriculture. This dichotomy is also reflected in dress, since like all other forms of art, costumes reflect the society that produces and adopt them.

Traditional Maltese clothes were primarily made from cotton. In fact at the time most of the available land was used to cultivate cotton and around 9,000 workers in Malta and Gozo were qualified as spinners and weavers, while an additional 200 workers were beaters and dyers. Sheep's wool was also produced for the manufacture of clothing though far less than cotton. Sheep's wool was widely used for domestic furnishing particularly blankets and sheets.

The Philatelic Issue features 3 stamps each depicting a typical traditional Maltese folk costume. The 26c stamp depicts the traditional Maltese costume that was commonly worn by the farming community at the time. This consisted of a white shirt, baggy trousers held up by a sash, a waistcoat and a cap.

The 59c stamp shows a similar costume, though with the addition of a 'horga', which was a cloth pouch that was slung over the shoulder.

The 1.16 stamp portrays another element of the traditional Maltese costume, this time including a "kabozza" which was a hooded winter overcoat made from a blend of wool and cotton and not unlike the duffel coat.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Moldova - Ethnic Groups From Moldova, Gagauz People 2017

Date of Issue: 21 June 2017
Sheet: 8 stamps (2x4)
Size: 34 mm x 34 mm
Quantity Printed: 100.000
Printing: Nova Imprim, Chisinau
Price: (MDL) 1,75
Designer: Oleg Cojocari

The Gagauzes are a Turkic people living mostly in southern Moldova (Gagauzia, Taraclia District, Basarabeasca District), southwestern Ukraine (Budjak), northeastern Bulgaria, Greece, Brazil, the United States and Canada. The Gagauz are Eastern Orthodox Christians. There is a related ethnic group also called Gagavuz (or Gajal) living in the European part of northwestern Turkey.

Women's Clothing:
Toward the end of the 19th century, in good weather, a Gagauz woman's costume consisted of a canvas shirt, a sleeveless dress, a smock, and a large black kerchief. In winter, they donned a dress with sleeves, a cloth jacket, and a sleeveless fur coat. Required features of female dress were earrings, bracelets, beads, and, among wealthy Gagauz, a necklace of gold coins. "So many of their decorations are hung about," wrote a pre-Revolutionary researcher, "that they cover the entire breast down to the waist."

Men's Clothing:
Traditional male clothing included a shirt, cloth pants, a wide red sash or belt, and a hat. The winter cap was made of Karakul sheep wool. The shepherd's costume was the usual shirt combined with sheepskin pants with the fleece turned in, a sleeveless fur coat, and a short sheepskin jacket, the latter sometimes decorated with red-on-green stitching.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Isle of Man - 300 Years Of The Royal Artillery 2016

Text: Frank Baldwin and Colonel Charles Wilson
Design: Glazier Design
Process: Offset Lithography
Colours: 4
Paper : 110 gms PVA gummed
Perforations:14 per 2cms
Stamp Size: 36 x 36mm
No. of Stamps: 6
Format: 20 stamps per sheet
Date of Issue: 9th May 2016

Celebrating the illustrious history of the Royal Artillery.

To celebrate the illustrious history of the Royal Artillery, Isle of Man Stamps and Coins commissioned Glazier Design of London to work with the Royal Artillery Association and their historian Frank Baldwin to capture the spirit of the regiment through six key military events. The Isle of Man is honoured to host the RA 300 Baton as part of the commemorations.

Issue Information:
Isle of Man Post Office in association with the Royal Artillery is pleased to present a set of six stamps celebrating 300 years of The Royal Regiment of Artillery and its remarkable achievements. The stamps are due for release on 9th May 2016.

Stamp Information:

The £2.44p stamp and the supporting material, features Major Kate Philp, a hero of modern warfare, who lost her leg in a mortar attack in Afghanistan. After her recovery Major Philp went on to train soldiers for later tours and accompanied Prince Harry on his walk to the South Pole with the charity Walking With The Wounded. A true modern day hero.

This stunning collection, and the first stamp issue created for the Post Office by Glazier Design in London, depicts some of the uniforms worn by the gunners in the regiment's 300 year history along with a reflective background image complimenting the artillery of the time.

The 45p stamp depicts the earliest soldier of the Royal Artillery in 1716 dressed in the coat of blue and red facings, and carrying a sword and a linstock with a cannon being pulled by a horse shown in the background.

The 50p stamp shows an officer of the Royal Horse Artillery which was founded in 1793. He wears a uniform based on the Light Dragoons of the day along with a leather helmet, and the background scene shows foot artillery of the period.

The 95p stamp depicts a gunner of the 4th Mountain Artillery Battery in 1890. The unit was raised from Punjab Sikhs and the soldier is shown wearing practical khaki and Indian slippers and is against a background of officers with mules carrying screw guns.

The £1.27p stamp is based on a photograph of Major J R Drinkwater, Royal Field Artillery, a Manxman who served in the First World War. He is shown wearing a khaki service dress uniform with his rank displayed on the cuff. The background shows an 18 pounder gun, the standard field gun of the war.

The £1.69 stamp depicts Manxman Lieutenant Cowley of the 15th (Isle of Man) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery with a 40mm Bofors gun at Tobruk, a North African harbour in the background.

Finally, the £2.44 stamp depicts Major Kate Philp of the Royal Artillery in Afghanistan in 2008 wearing desert camouflage, with a Warrior fighting vehicle in the background.

Major Philp served two tours in Iraq but while on operations in Afghanistan the armoured vehicle she was commanding was damaged by an improvised explosive device and her left leg had to be amputated. Major Philp's image is used in the stamp collection as a reminder of the cost of war and consequences for veterans.

Commenting on the stamps, General Secretary of the RA Charitable Fund Lt Col Ian Vere Nicoll MBE said: "The Royal Regiment of Artillery is a famous regiment who have fought all over the world as their motto 'Ubique' indicates. We are extremely proud of our connection with the Isle of Man and in this, our 300th anniversary since our formal formation, we are extremely grateful to the Isle of Man Post Office for helping us commemorate such an important anniversary with their set of six excellent stamps depicting the gunners through the ages. They are a first rate tribute to the men and women of the Royal Regiment of Artillery who have served throughout the ages defending their Country."

Sunday, November 12, 2017

China - Cantonese Opera Yueju 2017

Date Issue: 15 October 2017
Stamp Size: 30mm × 40mm 
Perforation: 13.5 degrees 
Anti-Counterfeiting Methods: Security Paper (Security Ink Special, Shaped Perforation, Fluorescent)
Designer: Zhang Wang 
Decorative Painting Edge: Zhang Wang 
Trimming Designer: Yuan Yi Shan 
Editor: Wen Wen Ya 
Printing: Beijing Stamp Factory

Details are as follows: 
1.20 Chinese Yuan - Fragrant Hill
1.20 Chinese Yuan - Big Seal of the Six Countries
1.50 Chinese Yuan - Jade Emperor Hall Seal

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Lithuania - Vytis, The Symbol of the Emblem of Lithuania 2017

Technical details
Issue Date:13 July 2017
Designer: I. Balakauskaitė
Printer: “Vaba Maa”, Estonia
Process: Self-Adhesive
Size: 24mm x 24mm
Values: €0.03, €0.10, €0.39, €0.42, €0.94, €1.00

About Vytis, the Symbol of the Emblem of Lithuania

The Lithuanian knight known as Vytis is one of the oldest state coats of arms in Europe. The image of the knight Vytis was used in state flags, coins and stamps. According to chroniclers of the 16th century, Vytis portrayed in the coat of arms of the state symbolizes a mature ruler capable of defending his homeland with his sword. The postage stamps commemorate images of Vytis used from the ancient times (the end of the 14th century - beginning of the 18th century) till the period of independent Republic of Lithuania (3rd - 4th decade of the 20th century).

Lithuania - Vytis, The Symbol of the Emblem of Lithuania in Flags 2016

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 02 January 2016
Designer: E. Jakutavičiūtė
Process: Offset, Art paper
Size: 24mm x 24mm
Values: €0.01, €0.03, €0.10, €0.29, €0.39, €0.62

About Vytis - The Symbol of the Emblem of Lithuania, in Flags

In the first postage stamps of 2016, Lithuania Post has commemorated Vytis depicted in historical state flags. The new set of 6 stamps Vytis, the Symbol of the Emblem of Lithuania, in Flags will appear in circulation this Saturday, January 2.

The set of the stamps Vytis, the Symbol of the Emblem of Lithuania, in Flags was created by the artist Eglė Jakutavičiūtė. The stamps have been released with the nominal values of EUR 0.01, EUR 0.03, EUR 0.10, EUR 0.29, EUR 0.39 and EUR 0.62. Each stamp has been issued in the edition of 1 million thousand copies.

Vytis is pictured in diverse flags on different nominal postage stamps: the flag of the army of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at the Battle of Grunwald (1410), the flag of Žygimantas Augustas (1553), the flag of the January Uprising (1863-1864), the flag of Antanas Smetona's military institution (1928), the flag of the Reform Movement of Lithuania (1989) and in the flag of the president of Lithuania (1993).

Along with the new set of 6 stamps, the first day cover has been released. This Saturday, correspondence paid by the new stamps will be marked by the first day cancellation at Vilnius Main Post Office.

A red banner with a white equestrian on a bay horse mentioned in the Jan Dlugosz' story, describing the Battle of Grunwald (1410) when the Grand Duke of Lithuania brought forty Lithuanian regiments, all carrying red banners. In the later historical sources a red cloth charged on both sides with the armored knight was described as the banner of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The flag remained as such until the end of 18th century.

Today, the historical Lithuanian State flag depicting Vytis, can officially be used alongside the Lithuanian State (National) flag.

Lithuania - Coins with Vytis, The Symbol from the Emblem of the Lithuanian State 2015

Technical Details:
Issue Date: 02 January 2015
Designer: I. Balakauskaitė
Process: Offset
Size: 24mm x 24mm
Values: 0,01€, 0,03€, 0,10€, 0,29€, 0,39€, 0,62€

About Coins of Vytis - The Symbol from the Emblem of the Lithuania State

The set of the 6 stamps from the series Vytis, the Symbol of the Emblem of the Lithuanian State, feature Vytis found on various coins starting from denarii issued in the Great Duchy of Lithuania by Jogaila in the years 1388-1390, and ending with the 5 litas coin of the Republic of Lithuania issued in 1925.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hong Kong - Qipao, Traditional Ladies Costumes 2017

"Qipao" Special Stamps
Date of Issue: 17 October 2017

Qipao, a traditional Chinese dress for women that first came into vogue in the 1920s, accentuates the gracefulness of the feminine physique with its oriental charm. To review the evolution of the qipao which has spanned almost a century, Hongkong Post issues a set of stamps on the theme of “Qipao”. This set of six stamps, together with the stamp sheetlets, exhibits the special characteristics of the qipao dresses from different decades. Illustrations on the stamps are the works of students studying for the Higher Diploma in Visual Arts and Culture at the Hong Kong Design Institute. The stamp sheetlets are embedded with the first-ever qipao-shaped stamps. Furthermore, the $20 stamp sheetlet is printed with paper made of taffeta fabric to enhance the theme.

$1.70 Hong Kong Dollars ─ Qipao in the 1920s inherited the wide and straight cut of long gowns of the Qing dynasty. The hemline fell between the calf and the ankle while the sleeves reached either the wrist or the elbow.

$2.20 Hong Kong Dollars ─ Qipao in the 1930s became the most popular daily attire among women. The qipao at that time mostly adopted a slim and slender cut, with higher slits on both sides to allow easier movements.

$2.90 Hong Kong Dollars ─ Qipao in the 1940s had its hemline raised to the calf and the collar lowered. The dresses were made of plainer fabrics with few embellishments. Summer qipao dresses were largely sleeveless.

$3.10 Hong Kong Dollars – Qipao in the 1950s was characterised by a slender cut, an indented hem and a higher collar. The qipao became the most elegant and decent dress for women for going out and the mainstream work attire for office ladies.

$3.70 Hong Kong Dollars – Qipao in the 1960s bore a similar style to that of the 1950s: shortened length, a slim waistline, a body-hugging fit and a narrow hemline to create an hourglass figure.

$5 Hong Kong Dollars – Qipao in the 1970s gradually fell from grace as western outfits won hearts. Nevertheless, the qipao continued to be worn as a ceremonial dress and thus became the attire for special occasions.

$10 Hong Kong Dollars, Stamp Sheetlet – Contemporary Qipao has retained the classical design while undergoing refinement and recasting by introducing contemporary fashion elements into the fabrics, cut and styles, hence reinforcing its prestigious status as a perennial classic.

$20 Hong Kong Dollars, Stamp Sheetlet – Contemporary Qipao printed with paper made of Taffeta Fabric to enhance the theme.

Acknowledgement: Hong Kong Design Institute and Hong Kong Museum of History.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Japan - The World of Japanese Traditional Culture: Kimono 2017

Issue: The World of Japanese Traditional Culture : Kimono
First Day: 04 August 2017
Face Value: Japanese Yen 82 x 10 pieces (Self Adhesive)
Designer: Nakamaru Hitomi (Stamp Designer)
Printing: Offset in 6 colors
Size: A, C, E, G, I : 25.5 x 27.0mm
Size: B, D, F, H, J : 22.0 x 28.0mm
Sheet: 10 stamps

Stamp Designs:
G169A - Kimono 1 ; G169B - Heian Period
G169C - Kimono 2 ; G169D - Muromachi Period
G169E - Kimono 3 ; G169F - Azuchi-Momoyama Period
G169G- Kimono 4 ; G169H - Edo Period
G169I  - Kimono 5 ; G169J - Present

These greeting stamps depict "Kimono" which has become popular throughout the world and is Japanese traditional culture. Design used for Kimono and images of Kimono from Heian period to the present are illustrated for each period.

Japan - Fashion 2017

Issue: Japanese Fashion
First Day: 09 August 2017
Face Value: Japanese Yen 82 x 10 (Self-adhesive)
Designs: Fashion Illustration
Creator of Original Drawing: Okamoto Azusa (Fashion Illustrator)
Designer: Tamaki Akira (Stamp Designer)
Printing: Offset in 6 colors
Size: A, B, F, G: 21.50 mm x 43.50 mm
Size: C, E, H, J: 21.50 mm x 27.00 mm
Sheet: 10 Stamps

The motif of these greeting stamps is a fashion illustration. The images of fashionable women dressed in a stylish manner are illustrated with a vibrant color and delicate brushwork.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hong Kong - Chinese & Western Wedding Customs 2017

Country / Post: Hong Kong (PRC)
Date of Issue: 23 July 2013
Subject: Chinese and Western Wedding Customs
Width: 28.0 mm (Stamps) ; 100.0 mm (SS)
Height: 45.0 mm (Stamps) ; 40.0 mm (SS)
Perforations: 13.5 by 13.25
Stamp issuing authority: Hongkong Post
Printer: Joh Enschedé BV, the Netherlands

A set of special stamps on "Chinese and Western Wedding Customs" will be released for sale with associated philatelic products on 23 July 2013 (Tuesday). Two Heartwarming Stamps with Fragrance (2013 Version) "Chinese and Western Wedding Customs" Mini-panes will also be issued on the same day.

"As I have held thy hand, so I shall grow old with thee." Marriage is a lifelong promise between a man and a woman. It is also an important event in a couple’s life. Throughout time and across cultures, nuptial ties are formed at marriage ceremonies. Apart from bringing sweet and memorable moments for the bride and groom, a wedding is a joyful occasion shared with family and friends. Influenced by culture, traditions and the way of life, marital customs vary in different societies. In Hong Kong where the East meets the West, weddings are characterised by a blend of traditional Chinese etiquette and Western customs. This set of stamps introduces the wedding culture of Hong Kong from various perspectives, highlighting the harmonious mix of Chinese and Western elements.

1.40 Hong Kong Dollars – The newlyweds, in traditional Chinese wedding dress, perform their bows as part of the ceremony. The dragon and phoenix embroidery on the bridal dress symbolises nobility, auspiciousness and a blessed union. Forming a backdrop are a "double-happiness" paper-cutting and two big red lanterns, adding to the joyous atmosphere.

1.80 Hong Kong Dollars – Their hearts filled with love for each other, the groom, in his tuxedo, and the bride, in her wedding gown, exchange their vows. The wedding rings on their fingers are tokens of enduring love and faithfulness.

2.40 Hong Kong Dollars – "Gift Presentation" in traditional Chinese wedding etiquette is very much like a betrothal ceremony. On the day of "Gift Presentation", the groom’s family will pay a visit to the bride’s family, bringing gift money, bridal cakes, coconuts, tea leaves, etc. to make a formal marital pledge.

2.50 Hong Kong Dollars – Cutting a cake at a wedding is a Western tradition. The new couple share the cake with their family and friends who partake in the joyful celebrations and share the happiness of the bride and groom.

3.00 Hong Kong Dollars – The red background with dragon and phoenix motifs suggests auspiciousness and joyfulness in Chinese weddings. The couple, in gold silhouette, have drunk their nuptial wine: now they will never part.

5.00 Hong Kong Dollars – Western weddings are usually held in a church or a garden. Decorations are mainly in white. An archway adorned with roses and wedding bells lend solemnity and a touch of sweetness to the occasion.

In this stamp issue, red and gold, popular colours for Chinese celebrations, are used in three of the stamps to emphasise the cheerful bustle of Chinese weddings. White and pink, being the symbol of purity, are the main colours of the other three stamps in which the feeling of romance associated with Western weddings permeates.

An auspicious colour in Chinese tradition, bright red is employed for the stamp sheetlet to highlight the Chinese red lanterns and dragon-phoenix bangles on the left, and the crystal chandelier and wedding rings on the right. A couple in Chinese wedding costume and another in Western wedding attire are juxtaposed to show the harmonious integration and coexistence of Chinese and Western wedding customs in Hong Kong. The contrast is delightful.