The Year of the Horse will begin on 31 January 2014, and will bring with it celebrations of the Chinese New Year in New Zealand, China and around the world. New Zealand Post issued special stamps to commemorate the Year of the Horse.
The horse is the seventh animal in the Chinese lunar calendar, and is renowned for its loyalty, diligence and free spirit. Those born in the Year of the Horse are thought to be energetic, intelligent and often physically strong, and they like to live in quiet, peaceful environments. In 2014, the Year of the Horse is expected to bring a blend of optimism, growth, fulfilment, prosperity and positive developments.
The 2014 Year of the Horse stamps represent the strong and successful co-existence of the Chinese and New Zealand cultures. The Chinese folk arts of calligraphy, paper-cutting and line art illustration are depicted on the stamps against a background of New Zealand as "the land of the long white cloud".
70c – Pictogram
Many Chinese characters are derived from pictograms, stylised drawings of the objects they represent. Originating in ancient times, these pictograms are among the oldest characters still in use – and a few, including the Chinese horse character, still take their earliest forms.
$1.40 - Paper-cut Horse
In China, paper-cuts are mainly used as home decorations, on everything from walls, windows and doors to mirrors, lamps and lanterns. Chinese people believe that red paper-cuts on the doors of houses can bring good luck and happiness to the families who live there.
$1.90 - Equestrian
New Zealand has earned a global reputation for its horse breeding, horse racing and horse riding. This stamp design uses a line art illustration to depict the elegant sport of show jumping, linking the image of the horse with the Chinese lunar year.
$2.40 - Rotorua Museum
The Rotorua Museum of Art and History is located in a building affectionately known as the Bath House – so called because it was once a geothermal spa offering therapeutic treatments to visitors from all over the world. Opened in 1908, the Bath House was the New Zealand Government's first major investment in the tourism industry.
Complement your stamps with Year of the Horse collectables
As part of this festive stamp issue, a miniature sheet and two first day covers are available, which reflect the spirit of Chinese New Year. Sheets of stamps are a unique addition to any collection, with each sheet containing five gutter pairs.
A beautiful gift for Chinese New Year
The presentation pack is the ultimate collectable in the Year of the Horse stamp issue. Not only does it contain the four gummed stamps, the miniature sheet and the first day cover, you'll also find an intricate paper-cut horse inside. It's also a great way to learn more about the Year of the Horse, and makes a stunning gift for anybody born in the year of this noble animal.
Limited edition gold-foiled products
The Year of the Horse stamp issue is complemented with two unique gold-foiled miniature sheets. These premium miniature sheets are made from 24-carat, 99.9-gold foil, and are sure to please any Chinese New Year enthusiast. They are replicas of the miniature sheet in the stamp issue and are not part of the official stamp programme.
Presented within an individually numbered frame (measuring approximately 39cm x 27cm), the large miniature sheet is limited to only 128 worldwide! The smaller miniature sheet is mounted in a perspex display stand and makes a beautiful gift.