To add to the New Year's festivities, the Directorate General of Posts is issuing a set of four Auspicious Postage Stamps (Issue of 1999). Each stamp bears a Chinese expression conveying good fortune. The first, has a picture of a gourd on a vine, bears the expression "a never ending vine of gourds" (which means "to have prosperous descendants") The second, which shows a pair of Mandarin ducks (the traditional Chinese symbol for a happy marriage) floating on a pond and lotus seeds (a seed being a homonym in Chinese for son), bears the phrase "Mandarin ducks' blessed son" (which means "a good marriage that soon brings sons.") The third stamp, which shows an egret (a homonym in Chinese for "road"), bears the phrase "one road of prosperity," which means "prosperity from start to finish." The final stamp, which shows fish surrounded by flowers in a circular shape, bears the phrase "reunion and abundance" (in Chinese "to have fish" is a homonym for "to have things leftover.") The stamps have a circular design, which through its perfection and wholeness, conveys the meaning that everything will go well in the new year. Two stamps have face values of NT$5.00, and the other two have face values of NT$12.00.
In traditional Chinese culture there was always great stress put on the pursuit of good fortune and avoidance of calamity. Auspicious designs can be traced back to tribal totems of the primitive societies of early Chinese, who used them in their carvings and the designs of their painted pottery. These auspicious symbols have been passed down generation after generation and are still deeply entrenched in Chinese culture today.
(1)First Day Cover in small size to be sold at NT$1.00 apiece. (2)Folder especially prepared for the stamps to be sold at NT$2.00 apiece. (3)Folder with crystal mount for better protection of the stamps to be sold at NT$4.00 apiece. (4)Loose-leaf stamp album page with plastic cover to be sold at NT$8.00 apiece. (5)Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with alow-valued stamp to be sold at NT$6.00 apiece. (6)Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with acomplete set of stamps to be sold at NT$35.00 apiece.