Korea post issued a Lunar year of The Tiger stamp. Hoping that in 2010, we can all roar loudly just like a valiant tiger. The stamp shows photo where the tiger’s face and body as well as the white snowflakes are printed in photostorage ink to sparkle in the dark.
It would be safe to say that of all the animals Koreans treasure, the tiger comes first. The Baekdusan Mountain tiger, which unfortunately is difficult to see nowadays, was the animal that represented our people, and the 1988 Seoul Olympic Game’s mascot was also “Hodori,”- the tiger. As well displayed by such phrases as “once upon a time, when a tiger was smoking~” and “? ~ of the tiger that is referred as the king of the mountain~” that are hummed along continuously from generation to generation, the tiger has been a close and intimate animal in our day-to-day lives.
One of the traditional seasonal customs related with the tiger is “Sanginil,” the first tiger day of the first month in the lunar calendar. On this day, considered to bring disaster caused by tigers, people tried to be on their best behavior, refraining from comings and goings and from leaving their own houses. Though tigers were sometimes described as fierce beasts due to its ferocity, they were also regarded as divine animals that could repel wicked demons. So, some people prayed for bad luck to depart to a picture of a tiger hung on the wall. The tiger has been expressed in our ethnic customs sometimes as a mystical creature that can return the favor and sometimes as an animal that is silly but never an object of abhorrence.
Title: The year of The Tiger Greetings Stamp
Date of Issue: 1 December 2009
Denominations: 250 won
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