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HK to Issue 'Charming Chinese Lanterns' Special Stamps

A special stamp issue with the theme of "Charming Chinese Lanterns" will be released on Feb. 12, Hong Kong Postmaster General Allan Chiang announced on Thursday.

A series of associated stamp products will also be on sale from the same date.

The Chinese Lantern Festival falls on Feb. 12 this year, and Hong Kong Post, China Post and Macao Post are each issuing a set of special stamps in celebration.

This set of "Charming Chinese Lanterns" stamps is the sixth joint issue by the three postal administrations on a common theme.

The three stamps issued by Hong Kong Post are the Lotus Fairy Lantern, the Narcissus Lantern and the Peacock Lantern. These are complemented by a stamp sheetlet depicting young boys in traditional dress holding a dragon lantern high in a festive dance.

In vibrant colors, the stamps and stamp products depict delightful images of typical Chinese New Year scenes and activities. A fluorescent ink even makes the lanterns on the stamps appear to glow under ultraviolet light.

Set against the yellow and orange background of the First Day Cover, a Narcissus Lantern, often employed as a symbol of purity and grace, radiates a luminous warmth. Colorful lanterns placed in perspective lend a warm romantic glow, bringing together the beauty and magic of light and lanterns.

Commenting on this special stamp issue, Chiang said that lantern fairs are held in many places during the Chinese Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first lunar month.

"We have tried, quite successfully I believe, to capture the beauty of the Lantern Festival where festival goers weave in and out to admire the lanterns for their beauty and try to solve lantern riddles in a fashion reminiscent of traditional celebrations spanning many generations. These are beautiful stamps which will be admired by philatelists and enjoyed by everyone who sends or receives them in the mail."

The stamps are designed by Jason Chum and printed in lithography by Beijing Stamp Printing Factory.

(Xinhua News Agency January 20, 2006)

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