Macau post issued Lunar Year of the Monkey stamps featuring different forms of the monkey and the distinguishing characteristics of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth.
This year the monkey’s nature from the “Five Elements” is “Fire Monkey”, so it becomes the main character of the five stamps.
The “Fire Monkey” stamp is applied with emboss printing technique to illustrate the scene of the powerful monkey to wag a huge fan towards the “Burning Mountain”, together with the hot foil stamping with symphony holographic on the stamp border.
The design of the stamp illustrates the Monkey King via the “Burning Mountain” and highlights the New Year festive atmosphere with fireworks and energetic monkey.
Story behind the Lunar Year of the Monkey stamps
In the Chinese lunar calendar, the year 2016 is the year of the monkey, being the feature of the “Heavenly Stems”, among the five elements the fire.
The Lunar year of the monkey stamps is related to the classic Chinese literatire “A Journey to the West”.
Although based on a legend, this work talks about a monk, named Chen Yi who, in reality, lived during the Tang dynasty, also being known as The Grandmaster Sanzang.
Chen Yi was born in Luoyang in 602 and died in 664. In 627, he left on pilgrimage from Chang’na to the west. After overcoming several obstacles, he arrived to India where he studied the Buddhist Sutra and has learnt to be a master.
He has stayed in India for 17 Years, and has returned to China with 657 Holy Scriptures from Buddhism. For over 10 years, together with his disciples, he has translated from Sanskrit to Chinese language, 73 of those text, divided into 1330 booklets.
However, the Monkey is the main character of the novel “A journey to the West”. Because he is so strong, it is said that when “the golden monkey angrily waved the gaint stick, the firmament of jade lied clean of dust“. Later, the Monkey king abondoned the stick and started to wag a fan towards the “Burning Mountain”, setting a light-way for Monk Tang Sanzang.
Sun Wukong, also called the Great wise Man, with his outstanding powers, had the ability to douse the flames with his fan, but he was also able to set on the “bing fire” to generate the “shen light” that illuminates the world.
The Fire Monkey belongs to the “Red Monkey” category. He is advanterous and smart, audacious and brave in facing challanges, He acts with bot hastiness and vanity, Fascinaring and loyal friend, he establishes good relationswith the others and with his spouse.
Title: Lunar Year of the Monkey stamps from Macau
Date of Issue: 22 January 2016
Denominations: 2.00, 2.00, 3.00, 3.00 and 5.50 patacas, 12.00 patacas
Source: Macau Stamps