Enter the Dragon... stamps

3 January 2012

One of the most ancient and venerable creatures in worldwide mythology is returning to New Zealand after twelve years in hibernation.

The Chinese New Year begins on 23 January – and this year it’s The Year of... The Dragon.

New Zealand Post is marking the event with the release of four 2012 Year of the Dragon stamps, which go on sale from Thursday 5 January.

“We live in a richly multicultural society, and it’s all the richer for traditions such as the Chinese New Year which bring untold centuries of tradition to modern New Zealand life,” says Simon Allison, New Zealand Post's Sales and Marketing Manager for the stamps business.

“The stamps in this set uniquely integrate elements of Chinese and New Zealand culture. Stamps featuring the Chinese lunar calendar are traditionally very popular as people celebrate the Chinese New Year and the beauty of the stamps themselves.    

But Simon Allison says having dragons on the stamps should add an extra level of appeal. 

“There are 12 Lunar Zodiac creatures, but the dragon is by far the most exotic and mysterious – considered by some as a symbol of power, strength and good luck.

The 2012 Chinese Lunar New Year stamps come in four denominations, and in a variety of commemorative products which are popular as gifts for the Chinese New Year.

60c - Year of the Dragon

The 60c stamp features the Chinese character for 'dragon', from the Xi Xia Song stone monument.



$1.20 - Paper-cut Dragon

A paper-cut dragon appears on the $1.20 stamp, reflecting the much-loved Chinese folk art of paper-cutting. This paper-cut indicates prosperity, amiability and celebration.



$1.90 - Dragon Lantern

The $1.90 stamp depicts a Dragon Lantern from the Auckland Lantern Festival displays which celebrate New Zealand's multi-cultural society. Chinese lanterns are frequently lit at New Year and the Lantern Festival marks the end of the fifteen day Chinese New Year celebrations.



$2.40 - New Zealand Icon - Dunedin Railway Station

The $2.40 stamp portrays Dunedin's famous Railway Station, and a pair of swallows - which in Chinese culture symbolise a place of hope, blessing and happiness. Dunedin is one of the earliest settlements for Chinese immigrants to New Zealand.


The 2012 Year of the Dragon stamp issue includes a miniature sheet, two first day covers, a premium Limited Edition publication (only 2,000 worldwide) and a presentation pack that comes with a free paper-cut dragon from the $1.20 stamp.

The 2012 Year of the Dragon stamp range is available from 5 January 2012 at all New Zealand PostShop stores, REAL Aotearoa in Wellington and Auckland, 0800 STAMPS (782 677) and www.nzpost.co.nz/stamps.



For further information please contact:

Simon Allison Sales and Marketing – Stamps, Coins and REAL Aotearoa, New Zealand Post
phone +64 4 496 4758
email simon.allison@nzpost.co.nz
web www.nzpost.co.nz/stamps