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Year of the Rabbit stamps by Australia

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The Rabbit is the fourth sign in the Chinese zodiac and symbolises creativity, compassion and sensitivity. In the Chinese story of the Jade Rabbit, three sages transformed themselves into pitiful old men, and begged for food from a fox, a monkey and a rabbit. The fox and the monkey both had food to give to the old men, but the rabbit, who had no food to give, jumped into a blazing fire to offer his own flesh instead. The sages were so touched by the rabbit's sacrifice that they let him live in the Moon Palace, where he became known as the "Jade Rabbit".

The stamps show the development of the Chinese character for the Rabbit, shown fully in the $1.80 stamp, and the way it is derived from its pictorial representation, shown in the 60c stamp. Paper-cut motifs are used to pictorially represent the Rabbit in the 60c stamp. Paper cuts are one of the most popular forms of Chinese art and are commonly used to decorate windows, lanterns, mirrors, gates and walls during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The miniature sheet tells the story (in Chinese and English) about the Jade Rabbit and how he came to be on the moon.

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