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Traditional Festival Postage Stamps from Taiwan

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So as to introduce traditional Chinese festivals, Chunghwa Post (Taiwan) is issuing a set of four stamps featuring the Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The designs of the stamps follow:

1. The Chinese New Year (NT$5): Chinese New Year is characterized by auspicious celebrations that symbolize the idea of the old giving way to the new. The stamp features fireworks to convey a sense of joy and fruitfulness. It also shows traditional New Year's calligraphic couplets, with chun (the character for spring) on one side of the door, and fu (the character for good fortune) on the other. These convey the idea that "with spring comes good fortune."

2. The Lantern Festival (NT$5): The Lantern Festival is like a mini Chinese New Year. Every household celebrates and hangs decorative lanterns. The stamp features a traditionally styled lantern, glutinous rice balls, and wooden red flip-flops representing that everything comes in pairs. The design is meant to convey the idea of blessings coming as families gather to celebrate the holiday.

3. The Dragon Boat Festival (NT$10): Dragon boat races and eating zongzi are the two activities most representative of the Dragon Boat Festival. It is a folk tradition to hang sweet sedge and Asian mugwort over the door to one's house so as to ward off insect infestations. It is also customary to wear sachets of fragrant herbs dangling from one's waist and to drink realgar wine as a way of praying for peace and safety.

4. The Mid-Autumn Festival (NT$25): "The moon is full and the people united." The Mid-Autumn Festival is a holiday that celebrates reunions. The stamp features a shiny, bright moon and the Jade Hare and Lady Chang'e accompanying each other in the Palace of the Moon. The moon cakes symbolize the beauty of the clan being whole and united.

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