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Year of the Rat - Domestic

Chinese New Year

Stamp Info

Name Value
Date of Issue January 17, 2020
Year 2020
Quantity 3,475,000
Series Chinese New Year
Series Time Span 1997 - 2020
Postal Administration Canada

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Booklet of 10 Stamps

Quantity Produced - 260,000
Original Price: $9.20
Perforation: Simulated perforation
Dimension: 32 mm x 32 mm
Printer: Colour Innovations
Printing Process: Lithography in 6 colours
Gum Type: Pressure sensitive
Tagging: General tagging, four sides
Paper: Tullis Russell

Pane of 25 Stamps

Quantity Produced - 35,000
Original Price: $23.00
Perforation: 13+
Dimension: 32 mm x 32 mm
Printer: Colour Innovations
Printing Process: Lithography in 5 colours, embossing, 1 foil stamping
Gum Type: PVA
Tagging: General tagging, four sides
Paper: Tullis Russell

Official First Day Cover

Quantity Produced - 21,000
Cancellation Location: Toronto ON
Original Price: $1.92
Dimension: 190 mm x 112 mm

About Stamp

Our latest series of Lunar New Year stamps wraps up with the Year of the Rat – the first of the 12 signs in the Chinese zodiac.

As legend has it, the rat earned the primary position thanks to its cunning nature. According to one story, the Jade Emperor based the 12-year cycle on the order in which the animals arrived at the heavenly temple. The rat persuaded the tireless ox, which was sure to win, to carry it to the finish line. Just as the ox approached the temple, the rat jumped down and scurried ahead to take first place.

Designed by Albert Ng, O. Ont., and Seung Jai Paek, the stamps present the traditional story of the wedding of the rat’s daughter in the style of folk art known as Chinese farmer painting. The PermanentTM domestic rate stamp depicts the bride on her way to her nuptials, while the international rate stamp shows the happily married couple.

“A merry wedding procession of rats is a common folk-art motif associated with the Chinese New Year,” explains Ng. “The snowy scene, reminiscent of Canada or northern China, joyfully captures the celebration of the wedding – and the coming new year.”

The Year of the Rat begins January 25, 2020, and ends February 11, 2021.

The pane features traditional blessings in Chinese calligraphy:

  • 瑞雪迎春 (top left): “A timely snow is an auspicious sign for a new year”
  • 紅梅報喜 (bottom left): “Red plum blossoms bring good tidings”
  • 鞭炮齊鳴 (top right): “The air is filled with the sound of bursting firecrackers”
  • 好事連連 (bottom right): “This year will be filled with one good thing after another”

The official first day cover includes a traditional Chinese blessing: 鼠兆豐年 (“The rat foretells a fruitful year.”).


Design: Albert Ng, O.Ont., and Seung Jai Paek Illustration: Seung Jai Paek, and Albert Ng, O.Ont. Calligraphy: Albert Ng, O.Ont.

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