Chunghwa Post issued Red Chamber Dream releases in 2014 and 2015, and now it is following up with another set of four stamps on themes taken from the book: “Xiangling Studies Poetry,” “White Snow, Pink Plum Blossoms,” “Qingwen Repairs a Coat,” and “Lantern Festival Feast.” Descriptions of the designs follow: 1. Xiangling Studies Poetry (NT$5): Xiangling, Zhen Shiyin’s daughter and Xue Pan’s concubine, possesses literary talents and studies poetry under Daiyu in Daguanyuan. There she spends her days lost in thought under the shade of trees on the banks of ponds. Baochai describes her as “crazed” and “possessed” due to her extreme passion for poetry. 2. White Snow, Pink Plum Blossoms (NT$5): In the depths of winter, as snow fills the air, Baoyu wears a crimson felt cloak, Daiyu wears a red feathered overcoat with white murmansky fur lining, and Baochai wears an embroidered lotus blue overcoat made of an imported silk-wool blend fabric with dou patterns. Together with the other girls, they discuss having a poetry club meeting the next day to write poetry. After a night of heavy snowfall, the ground is covered with a foot of snow. The snow is still falling when Baoyu exits the gate of the compound. All he can see are some dozen twigs of pink plum blossoms in the Green Lattice Nunnery, set off beautifully against the white snow as if part of some crystal world. 3. Qingwen Repairs a Coat (NT$10): Qingwen comes down with a cold, and for days on end Baoyu personally takes cares of getting a doctor and brewing herbal medicines for her. One day, Baoyu, wearing a coat made of gold threads and peacock feathers that Grandmother Jia gave him, attends a birthday party for his maternal uncle, where he accidentally burns a hole in the back lapel of the coat. Because Grandmother Jia wants him to wear the coat the following day as well, he desperately searches for a tailor to repair it, but none dare take on the job. Finally, his maid Qingwen, though ill, takes a look and mends it, and then immediately collapses afterwards. The book captures her determination and spirit of gratitude even at death’s door. 4. Lantern Festival Feast (NT$25): On the night of the lantern festival Grandmother Jia celebrates with her whole clan from both the Rong and Ning households. The grand parlor is filled with lanterns of different colors, along with precious ornamental fringe, vases and incense burners. The top quality teas, the exquisite fruits and dishes, and the seating arrangements are all demonstrations of luxury befitting the high status of the Jia family. By describing the feast, the opera performed at it, Grandmother Jia’s commentary on stories, Lady Feng’s clowning around, the singing of the 12 actresses, and the “passing the plum blossoms” game, the author vividly captures the festive way that the Jia family celebrates the holiday.
(1) First Day Cover: NT$2 apiece(2) Folder (with or without mount): NT$5 apiece(3) Loose-leaf album page: NT$8 apiece (4) Pre-cancelled FDC affixed with one NT$5-denominated stamp: NT$7 apiece(5) Pre-cancelled FDC affixed with a complete set of stamps: NT$47 apieceTo purchase the relative philatelic products, please go directly to the post office branches, or order on line at https://stamp.post.gov.tw.