This is the twelfth Lunar New Year special stamp issue in the third series released by Hongkong Post. The first and second sets of special stamps for the Year of the Rabbit were issued in 1975 and 1987 respectively.
Lunar New Year is the most important Chinese festivity that follows a 12-year Chinese Zodiac cycle.
In traditional Chinese culture, the Rabbit is a symbol of agility and acuity. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are said to be gentle, kind and quick-witted.
The four stamps, in denominations of $1.40, $2.40, $3.00 and $5.00, vividly portray four different breeds of cuddly rabbits. Five-colour printing is used to capture the gradation of light and shade, highlighting the adorable rabbits against a background of silver foliage.
The First Day Cover design aptly combines paper-cutting with computer aided drawing. The paper-cut pattern lends a note of festivity, and the lively rabbit in the foreground heralds the Year of the Rabbit.
Title: Year of the Rabbit – Hongkong
Date of Issue: 22 January 2011
Denominations: $1.40, $2.40, $3.00 and $5.00