A staff member shows the rooster stamps in Vancouver, Canada, Jan 10, 2017.
Canada Post has given Lunar New Year celebrants something to crow about: two Year of the Rooster stamps.
The issue on Wednesday is the ninth in the national post office's series honouring the Lunar New Year.
A permanent domestic-rate stamp featuring a rooster with its chest proudly puffed out is paired with an international-rate stamp offering a close-cropped profile view of the rooster's stately face. Both images are created from lines of gold foil.
"Canada Post is proud to celebrate the vibrant and festive occasion that is the Lunar New Year, which is marked by Canadians of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and other East Asian heritage," said Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra. "The annual unveiling of this stamp issue has become a much-anticipated event, with the artistry of the series praised by both collectors and mailers."
"The rooster is an auspicious animal which is associated with confidence, diligence and brightness," said Xue Bing, Chinese consul general in Toronto, who attended an unveiling ceremony of the rooster stamp issue in Richmond Hill.
"As a Chinese saying goes, get up as soon as possible at the first crow of a rooster in the morning to practice with the sword. It refers to the people of high aspirations who lose no time to work hard to prepare themselves for a great future. I am sure the rooster stamps will be certainly adored by the public."
Designed by Paprika, a firm in Montréal, the stamps include several features. The pane of 25 domestic-rate stamps includes four Chinese blessings, presented in calligraphy by Albert Ng. While all 2017 stamps include elements that point to Canada's sesquicentennial, this issue's reference is twofold.
The international-rate official first day cover, which also features a traditional Chinese blessing, is unsealed to enable the Chinese New Year tradition of giving money in a red envelope.
"The image of the rooster conveys both international and Chinese culture as well. Since this year is a year of the fire rooster, we want to convey the flame and movement in the line of the rooster; it's very confident and simple, and the colour is inspired by the traditional Chinese New Year lucky colour, golden and red," said Julien Hébert, the stamp designer and art director at Paprika.
2017 will also be the first year that the Spring Festival will be officially recognized in Canada, thanks to a motion passed by the Canadian Parliament.
"Therefore, today's ceremony is very special, as it not only expresses the kind wishes for the Chinese New Year, but also observes the historic moment when the Spring Festival becomes a mutual jubilation for both our people," Xue added.
The Year of the Rooster arrives on Jan 28, 2017, and runs until Feb 15, 2018. Those born under this sign are considered honest, courageous and confident. Marked for success, they achieve their goals through a combination of wit, charm and hard work.
Both the domestic and international rate stamps were officially released on Monday in Vancouver, and the full lineup of Lunar New Year products are available from now on.