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Canada issues Year of the Ram Stamps, launching Happy Chinese New Year in Toronto

(Chinaculture.org) Updated: 2015-01-16 14:12

Jim Phillips, Canada Post’s director of stamp services presided the releasing ceremony. [Photo/culturalink.gov.cn] 

Canada Post issues a theme stamp named Year of the Ram, which marks the beginning of "Happy Chinese New Year", a series of cultural events initiated by Ministry of Culture to celebrate the Spring Festival overseas in Toronto.

The unveiling ceremony was held by Canada Post and China’s consulate-general in Toronto on Jan 8. Over 30 media went to cover the event, including CCTV, Xinhua News Agency, China News Service, China Daily stationed in Canada; Sing Tao Daily, World Journal, and HK Ming Pao; CCCTV (a Canadian Category B Chinese language specialty channel) and other local media.

At the ceremony, the stamp was unveiled by Jim Phillips, Canada Post’s director of stamp services, Zhang Chuanbing, Chinese acting consul general in Toronto and the stamp designer Hélène L’Heureux.

Canada Post has released collections of stamps themed after the Chinese Zodiac since 1997. This year, with the support of China’s consulate-general in Toronto, a series of cultural activities will be held under the theme Happy Chinese New Year.

Zhang Chuanbing said in his speech that the Lunar New Year is the most celebrated festival of the Chinese nation, conveying the blessing of ancestries and good omens for the coming year. Happy Chinese New Year in Toronto welcomes friends from China and Canada, and makes Chinese culture accessible to the local mainstream and minority communities.

The Year of the Ram stamp is the seventh in this year’s commemorate stamps collection. The designer Hélène L’Heureux revealed that her inspiration was from the traditional Chinese proverb, “San Yang Kai Tai”, from the I Ching, meaning “three Yangs bring bliss for the coming year”.

In Chinese philosophy, Yang represents the masculine or positive principle that compose of the physical world, like light or warmth, which opposes to Yin, characterized by dark or cold. The duality of Yin and Yang is the primary form of beings. In I-Ching, three Yangs are signified by three solid lines, foreboding a good luck.

The pronunciation of “ram” is the same with that of Yang in Chinese, so people usually take three rams as a symbol of auspiciousness.

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