The Year of the Ox is the subject of Jersey Post’s first stamp issue of 2021, to be released on Tuesday 5 January. Illustrated by Wang Huming in Beijing, China, the issue comprises a single stamp and a miniature sheet and forms the sixth part in Jersey Post’s series celebrating the Lunar New Year.
Also known as the Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. It is celebrated by Chinese and ethnic communities around the world and is a time when families come together. The Chinese animal zodiac is a repeating cycle of twelve years; each of the twelve years is represented by an animal and 2021 is the Year of the Ox. In Chinese culture, the ox is considered to be a symbol of kindness, reliability and hard work. People born in the year of the ox are said to be reliable, trustworthy and patient. They can also be stubborn.
Wang Huming is the Deputy Chief Designer of the Postage Stamp Printing Bureau of China Post and has created the designs for each of the issues in Jersey Post’s Lunar New Year series. The designs are based on a Chinese style of painting and paper cutting.
The image on the 54p stamp symbolises prosperity. The golden bull, with its head raised upwards, represents a longing for a prosperous future, while its hoof, tightly buckled downwards, indicates a down to earth attitude. In the background of the stamp, on the upper right corner, is the Chinese character for ox; the strokes of the character look like the horns of an ox.
The miniature sheet depicts ‘the old cow licking her calf’. In Chinese culture, this is the embodiment of parental love, and represents a warm and happy family atmosphere. The mother cow and calf look towards each other, indicating affection and a harmonious family balance.
The stamp and the miniature sheet both feature a gold metallic ink and varnish.
Chinese New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the lunar month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In 2021, the first day of the Lunar New Year falls on Friday 12 February.
Jersey Post’s Year of the Ox stamps will be available to buy from all branches of Jersey Post from 5 January 2021. Philatelic stamp products such as miniature sheets, first day covers and presentation packs will be available from the Jersey post offices at Broad Street, St Helier and Rue Des Pres, St Saviour on issue day and can be ordered now at www.jerseystamps.com. Alternatively, you can email the Jersey Philatelic Bureau at email@example.com or telephone us on: +44(0) 1534 616717.