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New Zealand Post issues Stamps to celebrate Chinese Year of Rat



Rat will feature on the latest range of New Zealand stamps as the New Zealand Post celebrates the "Year of the Rat" for the Chinese New Year, which falls on Thursday.

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, people born in the Year of the Rat, are leaders and pioneers who are charismatic, passionate, practical and hardworking. They can also be obstinate, quick tempered and aggressive.

While in New Zealand, the common Norwegian rat is considered a pest by the Department of Conservation, according to Chinese myth, rats are held in higher regard, originally bringing the gift of rice to humankind.

The rat is the first animal of the 12 in the Chinese lunar calendar because, according to Chinese legend, it was the first animal to successfully cross the river as ordered by the Yellow Jade Emperor, the Emperor of Heaven, in a competition to determine placing in the Chinese lunar calendar. The 12 animals are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and the pig. They come to represent different types of people.

This stamp issue in New Zealand also focuses on the category of animals known as Pocket Pets which include rats, but also rabbits, guinea pigs and mice which are popular pets for many New Zealand children.

"While rats are considered a pest in New Zealand, many children grew up with pet rats, mice and guinea pigs, so it seemed appropriate to recognize this under the theme of Pocket Pets. These are animals which have been with civilization, for better or worse, since it began. We hope people enjoy these stamps," said New Zealand Post general manager stamps Ivor Masters.

Editor:Wang Nan



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