People both here in Taiwan and abroad wish for luck on New Year's. This is especially a traditional custom of the Chinese. To add to the festive New Year's spirit and in the hope that Chinese people will gain a deeper appreciation of their traditional culture, the Directorate General of Posts is issuing a set of four "Auspicious Postage Stamps" (Issue of 2001) that feature common Chinese auspicious expressions that mean "marital bliss," "success in one's career," "producing many offspring," and "growing old together with wealth and high position." The set is scheduled to be released on January 2, 2001. Two of the stamps have denominations of NT$5.00, and the others have denominations of NT$12.00. Mr. Andy Ko created the drawings of the stamps, which are being printed in deep-etch color offset by China Color Printing Co., Inc.
The stamps are individually described below:(1) Ping Ti Lien Hsin": "Marital Bliss." This metaphor literally means "twin lotus blooms on one stalk" and is used to describe a devoted married couple united in heart and mind.(2) "Lien Chung San Yuan": "Success in One's Career." This literally means "success three times running" and originally referred to coming in first in each of three rounds of the civil service exams. The stamp shows three round fruits: longan, lichee and walnut. In this expression "yuan" is a Chinese character that means "first," but there is another character with the same pronunciation that means "round"-which is why this expression has been visualized with round fruit. (3) "Liu Kai Pai Tzu": "Producing Many Offspring." The Chinese expression literally means "the open pomegranate has a hundred seeds." It symbolizes having lots of offspring. (4) "Pai Tou Fu Kui": "Growing Old Together with Wealth and High Position." Peonies symbolize wealth and high position, and pair of Chinese Bulbuls flying around them symbolize a happy couple that have grown old together. (A "Chinese bulbul" symbolizes an old person because the Chinese for them-"pai tou"-also means "white head.")
(1)First Day Cover in small size to be sold at NT$2.00 apiece.(2)Folder especially prepared for the stamps to be sold at NT$5 apiece.(3)Folder with crystal mount for better protection of the stamps to be so ld at NT$5 apiece.(4)Loose-leaf stamp album page with plastic cover to be sold at NT$8 apiece.(5)Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a low- valued stamp to be sold at NT$7 apiece.(6)Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a complete set of stamps to be sold at NT$36 apiece.