|Stamp Name||Sp.364 New Year's Greeting Postage Stamps Issue (1996)|
|Stamp Cat Standard||Special Stamps|
|Stamp Cat||Lunar New Year, Zodiac|
|Dimension of stamps(mm.)||26x34(mm)|
|Size of souvenir Sheet (mm.)|
|Printer||China Color Printing Co.,Inc., R.O.C.|
|Sheet composition||20 (4x5) stamps per sheet
|Process||Deep etch offset|
This Directorate issued a set of two stamps, a souvenir sheet, and a stamp booklet on December 2, 1996,to respond to the public's need to send New Year's mail or packages. Like previous years, the winning entry in the Chinese Zodiac Design Contest was chosen to be the design for the New Year stamps. As 1997 is the year of ox, Mr. Liao Che-fu's ox design was used.
It has been a long time since the year in China has been expressed by two characters, the upper being one of the ten Celestial Stems ', and the lower one of the twelve "Terrestrial Branches". Beginning with甲子 and ending with癸亥, the combination of the stems and the branches forms a cycle of sixty years , popularly known as one甲子. The twelve Terrestrial Branches are represented by twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac in the following order: rat, ' ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, cock, dog,and boar. The design for the New Year stamps will be the animal representing the particular year. Thus,the 1997 New Year stamps have the ox.