|Date of Issue
|January 12, 2016
|Perforation or Dimension
|32 mm x 32 mm
|Chinese New Year
|Series Time Span
|1997 - 2021
|Mint - Never Hinged - Very Fine
|Only available to paid users
|Used - Very Fine
|Only available to paid users
The eighth stamp in the Lunar New Year series celebrates the Year of the Monkey, which begins February 8, 2016, and ends January 27, 2017.
The ninth creature in the lunar cycle is an all-powerful symbol of honour, luck, riches and longevity, according to Chinese custom. Monkey symbols traditionally include an element of “-godliness”– one of the reasons they are ubiquitous in classic Chinese art and architecture.
Those lucky enough to be born in the Year of the Monkey count brilliance, flexibility, skillfulness and inventiveness among their traits, along with an excellent memory, an iron will and a strong drive to succeed. On the downside, Monkeys are said to be easily frustrated by delays, tend to look down on others and have a fast-flaring temper that (fortunately) cools quickly. Canadians born in this lunar year include singer Céline Dion, actress Kim Cattrall and legendary pianist Glenn Gould.
These domestic and international stamps were inspired by the legend of the Monkey King Sun WuKong, one of the main characters in the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. Also transformed into a famous Chinese opera, the story tells of how the sovereign accompanied the monk Xuanzang on a journey to India to retrieve Buddhist texts known as sutras.
In keeping with previous issues, the domestic and international stamps come together on a stylized souvenir sheet and an uncut press sheet. A transitional souvenir sheet heralding the end of the Ram’s reign and the start of the Monkey’s year is also available.
Designed by Albert Ng and Linna Xu, the stamps not only depict the Monkey imagery but also feature popular New Year’s greetings, which appear at the edge of the pane and on all of the souvenir sheets.
Canada Post started issuing Chinese New Year stamps in 1997. Since then, Canada Post has been issuing a stamp for the Chinese New Year each year.
From 2009 to 2020, Canada Post issued an exquisite Chinese New Year stamp that was part of one of Canada Post’s most popular and longest-running series, which featured such elaborate techniques as gold and silver foiling and multi-level embossing.
In 2021, Canada Post issued a special tribute to the culmination of more than a decade of award-winning stamps. This retrospective brought together in a single issue all the stamps from their 2009-2020 Lunar New Year series.
The Lunar New Year cycle showcased all of the animals in the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Conceived well before the series was launched, this collection features 24 stamps based on the designs of all the previous domestic and international rate stamps in the last 12 years.
“Even before we began this series of Lunar New Year stamps, we envisioned bringing them all together for a grand finale,” explains Jim Phillips, Director of Stamp Services. “That required a plan from the very beginning. We developed standardized specifications that made the stamps consistent across issues in terms of dimension, format and palette, but still allowed sufficient creative freedom for each to be spectacular in its own right.”
Brought together by Paprika from Montréal, these eye-catching stamps feature the work of the many design firms and designers who contributed to the series over the years. The result is a unique collectible that is a fitting tribute to Lunar New Year celebrations everywhere.