Stamps celebrating the Year of the Horse have proved a hot seller in China, with the release of 4000 stamps selling out within an hour of going on the market in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province.
The stamps celebrating Jia-Wu Year or the Year of the Horse were released in two sizes and were designed by artist Chen Saohua. “Horse” in Mandarin Chinese is a homonym with the word for luck.
The white horse on the stamp features an equine modelled after the tri-colored porcelain horse of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The peony patterns on its body symbolize wealth, dignity, and good luck, while the two bats drawn on the saddle mean “getting blessings instantly.”
From January 5 about 50,000 stamps were sold throughout the province in three days, with most going to either stamp collectors, those born in the Year of the Horse, or those with family members born in the year.
The larger of the stamps sold for 24 yuan (US$3.9) and two smaller ones sold for 12 yuan (US$1.9) and 7.2 yuan (US$1.1) , but a day following the release the prices more than doubled. According to Want China Times, the prices went to 20 yuan (US$3.3), 70 yuan (US$11) and 240 yuan (US$39) for the two smaller and one larger versions.
China National Philatelic Corporation will issue a FDC and a commemorative cancellation respectively.
The Lunar New Year begins on January 31, 2014, and ends on February 18, 2015.
The Chinese zodiac comprises 12 animal signs, among which the horse is the seventh. In Chinese culture, the horse is a symbol of nobility, class, speed and perseverance. People born in the Year of the Horse are said to be smart and good orators gifted at communicating. People bearing the horse sign strive towards seeking freedom and happiness.