2020 The Year of the Rat: Celebrate the Chinese New year

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2020: The Year of the Rat

The Chinese New year is a festival that celebrates the beginning of the traditional Chinese calendar, also called the lunar calendar. The Chinese New year will begin on the first day of the new moon that appears between January 21 and February 20.

The RAT is traditionally the first sign of the Chinese zodiac, but this stamp issue is actually the last of a 12 year Canada Post cycle. There was a previous Lunar New Year series preceding this one, and with the popularity of this series, we can only hope it continues next year.

The Year of the Rat officially begins on January 25th, 2020 and ends February 11, 2021.

The Chinese New year issues are a very popular stamp series and many are sold out instantly at Canada Postal outlets. We have a full selection at Busy Bee Emporium, including ones no longer available at the outlets.Β 

Now onto this issues:

The regular stamp issue is inspired by the Chinese folk tale about the wedding of the rat's daughter. On the stamp, the rat bride, wearing her headress, is being escorted to the wedding by her rat servants.

Click to view or buy the 2020 Year of the Rat Issue
The International rate stamp (also used on the Souvenir Sheet and Transition sheets) shows the married rat couple after the wedding ceremony and the stamp artwork and design is depicted in the style of folk art, known as Chinese farmer painting.

Click to view or buy the 2020 International Year of the Rat Issue
The two Official First Day Covers that support this issue are beautiful and very popular. Canada Post only produces 21000 to 22000 worldwide issues and does not reprint issues.

The regular first day cover features the regular stamp and is postmarked with the first day of issue cancellation in Toronto. The cover combines the married couple design from the International stamp for the cover with the preceding regular issue wedding ceremony stamp.

Click to view or buy the 2020Β  Year of the Rat First Day Cover
The vertical design, which is not often used, of the International First Day Cover features the International Souvenir Sheet. It is also postmarked and cancelled with the special first day of issue stamp in Toronto. An interesting part of the design of the envelope has the cover in red and it is unsealed, which is rare. This has been done to support the Lunar New Year tradition of giving money in a red pouch.

Click to view or buy the 2020 International First Day Cover
The Souvenir Sheet that is on the International First Day Cover is a collector favorite. It features lithography in 5 colours, embossing, foil stamping, and is a gummed issue. It was limited to only 120,000 worldwide issues. It is already sold out at Canada Postal Outlets.

Click to view or buy the 2020 InternationalΒ Souvenir Sheet

The final issue to discuss is the Transitional Souvenir Sheet and it commemorates the switch-over from the Year of the Pig to the Year of the Rat. It features both the 2019 International Stamp of the Pig and the 2020 International rate Year of the Rat.

It also features lithography in 5 colours, embossing, foil stamping, and is a gummed issue. It was limited to only 60,000 worldwide issues.Β It is already sold out at Canada Postal Outlets.


Click to view or buy the 2020 International Transitional Souvenir Sheet

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