South Africa: Lunar Year of the Rooster

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the year 2005 is the Year of the Rooster. The special Year of the Rooster miniature sheet reflecting a R12,05 value was issued on 9 February 2005. A special commemorative envelope was also issued. These products were designed by Denis Murphy.

The rooster is featured standing on a torse, a device used in Heraldry which supports the top figure in the Coat of Arms. Various elements associated with the symbol of the rooster such as the sunrise are incorporated into the background of the miniature sheet.

The design of the commemorative envelope shows the full circle of Zodiac signs with the rooster on top. Within the circle are arranged trigrams (Pa Kua), each of which is associated with seasons, directions, elements and character traits. At the centre is the symbol of "Yin and Yang" denoting positive and negative and also masculine and feminine qualities.

Chinese belief has it that the world is composed of five elements, namely fire, metal, water, wood and earth. The element associated with the sign of the rooster is metal. The rooster is also associated with the colour green.

People born in the year of the rooster are understood to be lively, candid, resourceful, courageous, generous, adventurous, confident, sincere and talented. They tend to be arrogant, nit-picking and also suspicious.

According to Taoist philosophy, the ancient religion of China, in the beginning the cosmos was filled with the Supreme Ultimate. Yin and Yang, the two fundamentals, originated here. They represent female and male, light and dark, day and night, south and north. According to this philosophy everything is always changing, always flowing and nothing is ever static.

All even numbered years have Yang aspects. These include heaven, sky, positive, active, creative and south.

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