Australia Post celebrates the Year of the Dragon

The 2012 Lunar New Year - Year of the Dragon stamp issue features the revered Dragon from Chinese legend. The Year of the Dragon is considered the luckiest and those born in that year are likely to be brave, tempestuous, powerful, wise and perfectionists.

The stamps show the development of the Chinese character for the Dragon, 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 represent the Dragon 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 Dragon occupies a special place in the Chinese zodiac, being the only mythical creature among them.

The miniature sheet tells the story (in Chinese and English) about the helpful, soft-hearted Dragon who, although expected to win the race because he could fly, only came fifth because he stopped during the race to create rain to break a severe drought and then aided the rabbit, a fellow competitor, by gently blowing him across the river on a raft. There is a special gold foil overprinting on the stamps, minisheet and zodiac sheetlet.

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