Added : February 03, 2011

Last Updated: February 04, 2011

Topic: Illustration

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TOPIC / Illustration

Year of the Rabbit Stamps from Around the World

Year of the Rabbit Stamps from Around the World

There are too many countries issuing stamps with cute bunnies and symbolic artwork to count that honor the fourth animal in the cycle of the Chinese zodiac calendar. Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, and others released their designs either in late 2010 or in the beginning of the new year. Here’s a look at some of the different 2011 Lunar New Year postage stamp designs from around the world I was able to track down.

China Lunar New Year of the Rabbit stamps four block souvenir

“According to Chinese lunar calendar, 2011 is Xin-Mao Year, or the Year of the Rabbit. In real life, rabbit is a favorite of people because its tamed, lively, and lovely nature. In traditional Chinese culture, while the three-legged crow represents the sun, rabbit is synonymous with the moon...” —China National Philatelic Corporation, back of F.D.C. envelope
China F.D.C. Year of the Rabbit 2011 envelope

China’s 2011 Xin-Mao / Year of the Rabbit stamp was designed by Wu Guanying. The piece of artwork used on the F.D.C envelope is by Wang Jiancheng.

detail of China Year of the Rabbit 2011 cancellation stamp
Meng Jie designed the cancellation mark.

Year of the Rabbit stamp by Canada Post horizontal strip

While numerous contries opted for youthful, cute bunny stamp designs, I think the designs issued by Canada stand out for its sophistication and special printing effects. The final stamp designs were a highly collaborative effort between illustrator Tracy Walker and Canadian stamp designer Paul Haslip with HM & E Design. The illustrations on the international variation above was inspired by tradional Chinese embroidery.

Japan New Year painted rabbit stamps

The Year of the Rabbit stamp designs from Japan this year are reminiscent of the 1963 Year of the Rabbit stamp.

Japan Nippon Year of the Rabbit stamps

South Korea also put a cute white bunny on their 2011 Year of the Rabbit stamp.

Korea Zodiac rabbit stamps

Below is Taiwan’s more painterly approach with good use of the color yellow.

Republic of China (Taiwan) kissing rabbits stamp
Taiwan bunny greeting postage stamp

The U.S.A. opted for kumquats as the focal point of their Lunar New Year 2011 stamp design issue.

U.S.A "Celebrating Lunar New Year" 2011 Rabbit Kumquat forever stamps

An excerpt from the back of the souvenir stamp sheet above reads:
“Kumquats, such as those depicted in stamp art, are given as gifts and eaten for luck at this time of renewed hope for the future. The stamp design incorporates elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps, including an intricate paper-cut design of a rabbit and the Chinese character—drawn in grass-style calligraphy—for “Rabbit.”” —United States Postal Service


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