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.
“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’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.
Meng Jie designed the cancellation mark.
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.
South Korea also put a cute white bunny on their 2011 Year of the Rabbit stamp.
Below is Taiwan’s more painterly approach with good use of the color yellow.
The U.S.A. opted for kumquats as the focal point of their Lunar New Year 2011 stamp design issue.
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