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Year of the Snake stamps from Liechtenstein

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The Liechtenstein Post has launched a stamp issue devoted to the "Year of the Dragon" and to the official sign of the zodiac for the current Chinese year: the "Snake" (face value CHF 1.90).

The Year of the Snake begins on 10th February 2013 and lasts until 30th January 2014.

The stamps have been designed by Stefan Erne. They are being issued in the form of a silhouette produced using state-of-the-art laser technology. However the sheetlet, which bears four stamps, is not in portrait but in landscape format. This is principally because there is on the sheet an illustration and an inscription in Chinese characters referring to the in China very popular "Legend of the white snake". In this legend two 1000-year-old snakes, one white and one green, transform themselves into two beautiful women in order to live on earth as humans. Bai Suzhen (the white snake) falls in love with the apothecary Xu Xian and they marry. Unfortunately however their wedded bliss is severely tested by the intrigues of the monk Fa Hai, who knows that Bai Suzhen is an evil serpent. Eventually Xiao Qing (the green snake) succeeds in vanquishing the evil monk.

People born in the Year of the Snake are reputed to be thoughtful and wise and to approach problems rationally and logically, seldom instinctively. They have a sure touch in money matters but are also inclined to be greedy and somewhat egoistical. But they readily help others less successful than they.

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