Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Year of the Dragon!

I wish you all a very joyful and prosperous Year of the Dragon! :)

In traditional Chinese culture, the Dragon is an auspicious, mythical creature incarnated as an emperor, representing supreme power and commanding great respect.  It is believed that people born in the Year of the Dragon are confident, courageous and clever.

I seize this occasion to present the Year of the Dragon covers I received:

Chunghwa Post issued on December 1, 2011 (year 100) a set of 2 stamps and a souvenir sheet to commemorate the Lunar New Year.  Thank you James for the interesting FDC above. (=

The NT$3.50 stamp represents a pair of dragons staring into each other’s eyes, thus conveying the idea of “belonging to each other” and symbolizing that “all one’s wishes will come true.” 

In the NT$13.00 stamp, the image of this dragon holding its head up high and ready to spring into action represents “pride” and symbolizes “joy and good health.”

Finally we have this nice FDC which I bought on January 9, 2012 in Hong Kong.  Unfortunately the stamps were to be released only on January 14...  so couldn't affix them on the cover.

Mailing date: December 1, 2011 (Taiwan)
Delivery date: December 12, 2011

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Europa 2010 & Astérix from France

The 2010 Europa theme was Children Books and so Phil@poste issued on May 9, 2010 a single stamp (0.70 ).  The stamp illustrates a girl engrossed in reading a book and sitting on a pile of books, and surrounded by famous children characters: The Beauty & the Beast and Cinderella.

The 0,56 stamps depicts the renowned comic book character Astérix.  This stamp, issued on December 3, 2009 with a very nice souvenir sheet, commemorates the 50th anniversary of this very much-appreciated children character.  Designed by Albert Uderzo, the plot shows how Astérix, along with his friend Obélix, the latter's pet Dogmatix and the rest of their Gaul village, resist Roman occupation.

On the occasion of the 84th Congress of the Fédération Française des Associations Philatéliques (10-13 June 2011, Metz), La Poste issued the 0,58 stamp, with a vignette, on the top right of the envelope.  Three landmarks are illustrated on the stamp and the vignette:  the Saint-Stephen Cathedral and the Protestant Temple Neuf (stamp) and the Medieval City gate - or Porte des Allemands (vignette).

Lastly, we have a stamp designed by Pierre Albuisson which portrays the ruins of the Gaul temple of  Janus and two statues from the Saint-Lazare cathedral which can be seen in the background.  The commune of Autun, in the Saône-et-Loire department, in eastern France, is home to all of these iconic figures.

Thank you very much Eric! :D

Mailing date: 27 September 2011
Delivery date: 03 October 2011

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Moths & Butterfly from Kenya

Hi everybody!  Wish you all a very Happy New Year!  (=

So here we go with this nice mail from Nakuru, Kenya.  Thx a lot Bhavin for my first cover from this country! :D

From right to left, the KSh 25 stamps depict:
-  The Hodebertia testalis, a species of moth.  Moths are insects closely related to the butterfly with most species being nocturnal.
-  The Zalaca snelleni, another species of moth.
-  The Red Tip Butterfly (Colotis antevippe), found in the Afrotropic ecozone.

These stamps were issued in 2011 to promote the work of the The African Insect Science for Food and Health (ICIPE), previously the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology.  It was established in Kenya in 1970 and its mission is to help alleviate poverty, ensure food security and improve the overall health status of peoples of the tropics by developing and extending management tools and strategies for harmful and useful arthropods, ie. insects, arachnids, crustaceans and myriapods.

Note the 2 distinct postmarks - one using blue ink and the other one black ink - applied on this envelope...

Mailing date: 22 November 2011
Delivery date: 30 November 2011