Friday, March 1, 2013

Year of the Snake 5.1.2001

Two commemorative stamps issued by Canada Post celebrate the Year of Snake, commencing January 24, 2001 and ending February 11, 2002. Many artists collaborated to create this issue, including designer Marlene Wou, jade sculptor Lyle Sopel, and calligrapher Yukman Lai. Wou chose a jade sculpture as the background because the semi-precious stone has long been valued by the Chinese culture. The stamps, were issued on January 5, 2001 and launched in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The most celebrated of all Chinese festivities, the lunar new year is a time of gathering, cleansing, celebrating, feasting and renewing. January 24, 2001 marks the beginning of the Year of the Snake - the sixth of twelve animals governing the period of one lunar year in a twelve-year cycle. Canada Post joins Asian communities around the world in paying homage to this ancient tradition through the issuing of two commemorative stamps ($0.47 and $1.05).  
The snake represents power and divinity, and is second only to the dragon in the mystical intrigue it holds for the Chinese. A prominent figure in ancient stories and legends, the snake may be good or evil. People born in the year of the snake are said to be deep thinkers, graceful, and soft-spoken. Snakes learn fast, and can be prudent and shrewd in business. Elegant in speech, dress, and manners, their inner strength allows them to maintain a presence of mind in times of hardship - qualities that deem them appropriate to become philosophers, theologians, politicians, and financiers. One's fortune is not dictated by year of birth alone…the relationship of each of the twelve zodiac signs with the five elements of the universe - gold/metal, wood, water, fire and earth - has an impact on how a person will fare in life. The year 2001 belongs to the element metal, and metal snakes are endowed with a calculating, intelligent mind and forceful willpower - making them the most secretive, evasive and confident of all snake types.
Chinese-Canadian Marlene Wou was responsible for the creative direction of all Year of the Snake design. Together with jade sculptor Lyle Sopel and Chinese calligrapher Yukman Lai, she set out to portray the snake in a positive manner while capturing its fluid form and decorative body patterns. By stylizing the form of the snake and embellishing its body with ornate patterns, this goal was achieved.
Thank you Hemant for this nice FDC with the lovely stamp (one of a set of two).

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