Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stamp Festival 2011 in France

La Poste issued stamps and a miniature sheet for Stamp Festival (Fête du Timbre) 2011. The first stamp issued is one repeating the design of the very famous Marianne de Beaujeard. On the left side of the stamp is written “Let’s protect the Earth” and a hand planting a plant is portrayed. In France, the Stamp Festival is held every year since 1938. Since December 1944, La Poste has been issuing postage stamps on this occasion. In 2010, the theme chosen for the traditional Stamp Festival was water; the theme of this year is devoted to the Earth.

Thank you very much Eric for this wonderful cover sent from Lyon.  It took 18 days to reach its destination.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

100 Years of Aviation in Singapore

Singapore Post issued a set of 5 postage stamps on March 16, 2011 to mark the centenary of aviation.  Singapore saw its first aircraft on 16 March 1911, and since then, the aviation industry in Singapore has established itself as global and vibrant aviation hub.

This fantastic cover was sent on the First Day of Issue from Changi Airport.  The stamp portrays the world-famous Airbus A-380 which can carry a maximum of 853 passengers.  It should be noted that Singapore Airlines has 11 A-380s in its fleet.  Thank you very much Terence! (=

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Aerogram from Singapore

Thanks Terence for this nice aerogram showcasing the cultural diversity of Singapore with Malay, Chinese, Indians and Muslims forming the population.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Festivals in India

Thank you Shinjini for this nice cover franked with 3 stamps featuring 3 diiferent religious festivls in India:
- Durga Puja (দুর্গা পূজা), which celebrates worship for the Hindu goddess Durga
- Dashera, which is the state-festival of the state of Karnataka.
- Divali, also known as Diwali or Deepavali, is the festival of lights.

The last two stamps depict The Silent Valley in the state of Kerala, South India and the International Year of Biodiversity which took place worldwide in 2010.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Year of the Rabbit Greetings from Indonesia

POS Indonesia marked the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit by releasing a set of 3 stamps and a miniature sheet on January 25, 2011.  The stamps comprise the words 'Year of the Rabbit' in 3 languages: Indonesian (Tahun Kenlinci), English and Chinese ().  Irene also kindly enclosed the mint set of stamps and the souvenir sheet. :)

The number 2562 means that the Chinese New Year in the Year 2562 coincides with the date of February 3, 2011.  People born in the Year of the Rabbit are said to be quiet, shy and tolerant.  Thanks a lot Irene!  =) 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Scarborough in the UK

Scarborough is a town on the North Sea coast of North Yorkshire, England.  With a population of about 50,000, it is the largest holiday resort on the Yorkshire coast.  The most striking feature of the town's geography is a high rocky promontory pointing eastward into the North Sea. The promontory supports the 11th century ruins of Scarborough Castle and separates the sea front into a North Bay and a South Bay.  This postcard shows the Cliff Bridge.

Nigel affixed a stamp featuring the famous science-fiction TV show 'Thunderbirds'.  Thanks Nigel for your lovely card...  ><   

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shi Tao's Paintings from China

The 6 portrait stamps each show 6 different works of the Chinese landscape painter and poet Shi Tao (石涛).  Shi Tao is one of the most famous individualist painters of the early Qing dynasty. The art he created was revolutionary in its transgressions of the rigidly codified techniques and styles that dictated what was considered beautiful.  Imitation was valued over innovation, and although Shi Tao was clearly influenced by his predecessors, his art breaks with theirs in several new and fascinating ways.

The 1.50元 stamp depicts the Chinese Sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis - 中华鲟) which is thought to have lived at the same time as dinosaurs, dating back to a period 140 million years ago.  Because of that, it is sometimes referred to as a living fossil.  It is alrgely dispersed over the main streams of the Yangtze River and the coastal regions of Qiantang River, Minjiang River and Pearl River.

The last stamp forms part of a set of 4 issued in 1995 on Hong Kong.

South China Tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis/ 2004-19)
 Mount Yandang (雁荡山/ 2002-19)
Qiuci Grotto Murals (2008-16)
Thank you so much Jiayi for your splendid cover and stamps!  :D

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Year of the Rabbit in Taiwan

This wonderful cover was sent from Hsinchu City (新竹市) on February 13th, 2011.  James kindly affixed Year of the rabbit stamps and miniature sheet on the cover.  The designs find inspiration in modern art styles, such as action painting and pop art.  The motif rabbits are depicted using black silhouettes that are adorned with orange and purple paint splatters, which create lively compositions.

The backgrounds, which are yellow with random red splatters, cleverly make use of traditional Chinese ink-wash effects.  The bright colors symbolise joy and convey high expectations about the Year of the Rabbit.  Thank you very much James!  -_- 

Friday, March 18, 2011

50th Anniversary of the 'Fondation pour le Cheval' in Switzerland

The 'Fondation pour le Cheval' (Foundation for the Horse) is a retirement home for horses, ponies and donkeys, which is located on 3 sites: le Roselet, Maison Rouge aux Bois and le Jeanbrenain.  Founded in 1958 by Hans Schwarz, le Roselet is the first home to have emerged.  The 2 se-tenant stamps, issued in 2008, feature the sunset and the jura track enjoyed by the numerous horses of this Foundation.

The last stamp was released in 1980 to mark the centenary of the Swiss Institute of Meteorology.  Thank you very much Vural for this nice cover!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pets from Indonesia

I received this nice cover from Malang, Indonesia, on February 4th last.  It was franked with 6 different stamps.  The 2 on the far left depicting animals kept as pets in Indonesia:  the cat and the rabbit, were released in 1999.

The other four stamps feature Indonesia sea-turtles.  Thank you Irene!  ^^'

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Registered Cover from Chile

Thank you Pablo for this awesome registered cover sent from Antofagasta on January 11 last.  The two $250 se-tenant stamps portraying the Antarctic Exploration were issued on January 29, 2008 to mark the third International Polar Year (2007-2008).  They form part of a sheet of 6 different stamps and only 30,000 such sheets were printed.

The $280 stamp was issued on November 25, 2008 to celebrate the 30 years of Teletón.  The major Chilean television networks hold an annual telethon called Teletón to raise funds to help children with developmental disabilities.  The telethon is an event of national unity and is proportionately the most widely watched telethon in the world.

The 4 "small-size" stamps ($50 & $100) picture Chilean Traditional Characters.  From right to left:
- Lustrabotas, or shoe-cleaners
- Heladero, or ice-cream man
- Organillero, or organ grinder

Roberto Sepulveda brillantly designed the Cuasimodo and La Vendimia (The Vintage) festivals on the $10 and $200 stamps.  On the Sunday after Easter, parish priests in colonial times went forth to take the Holy Sacraments to the elderly and infirm who could not get to church on Easter Sunday.  They were guarded by cowboys who protected them from bandits; they were also given food and drink to wash away the road dust.  Cuasimodo has nothing to do with the Quasimodo of fiction, nor is it the name of a saint or a holy person, but it is attributed to the latin used in Catholic ceremonies.

The Vintage Festival is a traditional festival including the benediction of the grape juice as well as the traditional stomping of grapes, wine and degustation of food and numerous artistic presentations.

Again, thank you  very much Pablo for your cover, my first one from your country which is my 25th country/territory...   (;

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Oil Drilling & Lunar New Year in Canada

Thank you very much Glenn for giving me the opportunity to write about the prairies of Canada which, even though they are endless fields of wheat, barley, canola and hay, also harbour in some areas, every 1000 feet, those massive pumpjacks.

The postcard was sent from Calgary, Alberta, home of The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth: The Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo exhibition and festival held every July.  Glenn also interestingly used the Year of the Rabbit souvenir sheet issued by Canada Post in 2011.   -_-

Friday, March 11, 2011

Year of the Rabbit in Hong Kong

The Lunar New Year is the most important Chinese festivity which follows a 12-year Chinese Zodiac cycle.  In traditional Chinese culture, the Rabbit is a symbol of agility and acuity.  People born in the Year of the Rabbit are said to be gentle, kind and quick-witted.

Thank you Trudy for this FDC featuring the 12th Lunar New Year special stamp issued , on the 22nd of January 2011, in the 3rd series by Hongkong Post.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Magic Winter in France

Daniel sent me this wonderful postcard picturing the magic of winter.  It was posted from Mende, the capital of the Lozère department on February 4th, 2011 and reached P/Louis 10 days later.

Daniel also chose a splendid stamp to frank his postcard; it porteays the Green Hairsteak (Callophrys rubi), known as Thêcla de la ronce in French.  Thank you very much Daniel! (:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New Machine Cancellation in Port-Louis

I was really surprised to receive this envelope with this machine cancellation applied on the stamp, which is quite rare in Mauritius.  The cover was sent from Port Louis Centre Post Office on February 10, 2011.

The slogan postmark reads:
Mauritius Post offers international express mail service - EMS

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mount McKinley & Edna St. Vincent Millay in the USA

Mount McKinley in Alaska is the highest mountain peak in North America and the US, with a summit elevation of 6,194 metres above sea level.  It is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve.

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) wan an American lyrical poet, playwright and feminist.  She was the third woman to receive the Pullitzer Prize for  Poetry, and was known for her activism and many love affairs.  Thank you Matthew for those nice stamps, with a cancellation of the US Embassy Brussels.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Filey & Lavender in Great Britain

Filey is a small town in North Yorkshire, England.  It is located between Scarborough and Bridlington on the North Sea coast.  Although it started out as a fishing village, it has a large beach and is a popular tourist resort. 

A special thanks to Nigel for this superb postcard of Filey, with a delicious Lavender Bread recipe.  Lavender was a familiar culinary herb to the Romans, who built a signal station near Filey to watch fro Saxon invaders.  To the Victorians, who made Filey a holiday resort, lavender was a perfume.  Today, lavender is valued or both purposes.  By the way, the Winnie-the-Pooh stamp is simply awesome!  ><

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Qingming Festival in China

Qingming Festival (清明节), Pure Brightness Festival in English, is a traditional Chinese festival on the 104th day after the winter solstice, usually occurring around April 5 of the Gregorian calendar.  The name of this festival denotes a time for people to go outside and enjoy the greenery of springtime and tend to the graves of departed ones.

This set of 3 stamps featured on this envelope illustrates this traditional festival.  The last stamp (50分) portrays construction on Hainan Island.  Thank you very much Hai Huang!  -_-