Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Singapore Year of Rat FDC

Singapore FDC
Name: Zodiac Series - Rat
Issue date: 2008 January 18th

The highly intelligent, charming and enterprising Rat starts off a new cycle on the Chinese zodiac calendar. Three graphic illustrations of this lively Rat ushering in the new Lunar Year 2008 are shown in this set of stamps.

There are a total of 12 animal signs in the Chinese calendar based on five cycles of 12 years each, with each cycle tempered by one of the five Chinese elements of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. According to Chinese astrology and belief, the traits of these zodiac animals not only shape the personalities of people born under the respective sign but also their lives and the events of the year.

As the first of the 12 animal signs, those born in the year of the Rat are often said to be high achievers, leaders, and great organisers. They are chrismatic, practical and hardworking. Alert and creative, they succeed not only in business but in many other fields, including in trading, accountancy, management, markeing and the arts. This year, being the year of the Earth Rat, they also have an added sense of stability and desire to secure a good future for themselves and their families.

Apart from the Rat, the other Chinese zodiac animals are: The ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

Famous personalities born in the year of the Rat include William Shakespeare, Mozart, George Washington and Truman Capote.

2008 China Year of the Rat Stamp Minisheet Booklet
2008 Hong Kong Year of the Rat FDC Minisheet FDC Imperf. S/S FDC
2008 Indonesia Year of the Rat FDC S/S FDC
2008 Japan Year of the Rat Lottery S/S FDC
2008 Singapore Year of the Rat FDC Minisheet FDC
2008 Taiwan Year of the Rat FDCs Pre-stamped Postcards
2008 Thailand Year of the Rat FDC Minisheet FDC
2008 USA Year of the Rat FDC
2008 Vietnam Year of the Rat FDC

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Poland PostEurop FDC

Poland FDC
Name: PostEurop Kraków 2008
Issue date: 2008 January 15th

PostEurop is the association of European public postal operators, one of the constituent unions of the Universal Postal Union. PostEurop was created in 1993 to simplify the exchange of mails in Europe, a task previously undertaken by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT, from its French acronym). A smaller but similar organization is the Small European Postal Administration Cooperation.

Each year PostEurop holds its Plenary Assembly in one of the countries where its Members operate.

PostEurop's 2008 Plenary Assembly was held in the Wisła Ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel, Kraków, Poland, on 16-17 January 2008.

Official Website of PostEurop
Official Website of PostEurop Kraków 2008

According to PostEurop Plenary Assembly 2008's Practical Information brochure. This Plenary Assembly was held in Sheraton Hotel, Kraków (address: Ul. Powiśle 7).
This FDC was sent from Kraków-78 Post Office(Urząd Pocztowy Kraków 78), which is the nearest post office (address: ul. Retoryka 16) from Sheraton Hotel.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Thailand Children's Day FDC

Thailand FDC
Name: National Children's Day 2008
Issue date: 2008 January 12th
Number: 837

To commemorate National Children's Day 2008.

Illustrate the painting which won prizes in the 20th Asian International Stamp Exhibition (BANGKOK 2007) postage stamp painting competition.

3 BAHT: Pole walking (Designed by Khemtit Khumsichun)
3 BAHT: Kite flying (Designed by Natthapol Sae-lim)
3 BAHT: String Puppets (Designed by Sirada Chokyangkul)
3 BAHT: Candle crafting (Designed by Sarinthip Narongphun)
3 BAHT: Rice ritual (Designed by Amornthep Jit-Nhuk)

2007 India Children's Day Minisheet FDC
2008 Thailand National Children's Day FDC

Russia A. Tolstoy FDC

Russia FDC
The 125th Anniversary of Birth of A.N. Tolstoy (1883-1945), a writer
Issue date: 2008 January 10th

Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Алексей Николаевич Толстой) (January 10, 1883 - February 23, 1945), nicknamed the Comrade Count, was a Russian writer who wrote in many genres but specialized in science fiction and historical novels.

He was born in Nikolaevsk (now Pugachyov, Saratov Oblast) in 1883 into an impoverished branch of the Counts Tolstoi. His father was a retired hussar and landowner, Count Nikolay Alexandrovich Tolstoi, and his mother was a children's writer Alexandra Leonievna Bostrom (born Turgeneva, also known as Alexandra Tolstoi). Aleksei was the fourth child in the Tolstoi's family. When his mother was two months pregnant, she fled the family with her lover, Aleksei Apollonovich Bostrom. In accordance with the divorce law of the time, the guilty party (Alexandra) was forbidden to remarry, and the only way for her to keep her newborn son was to register him as a son of Bostrom. Thus, until the age of thirteen, Aleksei had lived under the name of Aleksei Bostrom and had not suspected that Aleksei Bostrom Sr. was not his biological parent. In 1896 both Tolstoyand Bostrom families went into bureaucratic pains to re-register Aleksei as count Tolstoi. Still, he considered Aleksei Bostrom his true father and had hardly ever seen Nikolai Tolstoyand his older siblings. More...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

India Water Year FDC

India FDC
Name: 2007 Water Year
Issue date: 2007 December 28th

"Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink". Coleridge in his famous classic Ancient Mariner so succinctly described the paradox of water as a resource. Two thirds of earth is covered with water and one third by land. Yet, the scarcity of fresh water has posed a major challenge before the human beings in the present century. Global warming is affecting the glacial regions and cataclysmic changes leading to rising seas and inundation of low lying land masses can happen more quickly than we ever anticipated. Insufficient water storage capabilities are leading to recurrent floods and draughts world over.

India faces a challenging water future. Water resource management system required immediate attention and a national policy perspective to sustain the developments that India envisages. Water availability of the country as a whole has been assessed as 1869 billion cubic meters(BCM) of which only 1123 BCM can be utilized that includes 690 BCM surface water and 433 BCM ground water resources.

India has a highly seasonal pattern of rainfall with 50% of precipitation falling in just 15 days and over 90% of river flows in just 4 months. Throughout history people have adapted to this unique flow by either living along the river banks or harvesting imaginatively in tanks and underground storages. Water. Management was largely community oriented. Over last 150 years India has made huge investments in managing water infrastructure and to solve the water crisis.

India can store only 30 days of rainfall compared to 900 days in major river basins in the arid areas of developed countries. The present per capita storage capacity is only 207 cubic meters as compared to 1111 cubic meters in China. Growing population further puts pressure on per capita availability of water. It is estimated that it will be about 1341 cubic meters by 2025. the need for storage will still grow due to climatic changes that are bound to have major impact on India.

India faces challenges in the water sector in the form of declining per capita availability of water, over exploitation of ground water resources leading to lowering of ground water table in certain pockets, deterioration in the water quality, cost and time overruns in the completion of irrigation and multi-purpose projects and poor maintenance of the existing systems. Of-course, the most important challenge is to appropriately address the natural disasters like floods and droughts.

In such a background it is extremely essential that our precious asset is governed by a national perspective and an effective plan to harvest, conserve and utilize water gainfully. The Union Cabinet in its meeting on 4-1-2007 accepted the proposal of the Ministry of Water Resources and declared year 2007 as Water Year.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Russia 1st Postal Stamp FDC

Russia FDC
The 150th anniversary of the first Russian postal stamp
Issue date: 2008 January 10th

The first stamps went on sale 10 December 1857, but were not valid for use until 1 January 1858. The first value was a 10-kopeck to be used for letters weighing up to one lot (about 12.8 grams). It was an imperforate stamp depicting the coat of arms of Russia, and printed using typography in brown and blue.

2007 Russia 1st Postal Stamp FDC
2007 Russia 1st Postal Stamp EBCS
2008 Russia 1st Postal Stamp FDC
2008 Russia 1st Postal Stamp EBCS

Friday, January 25, 2008

USA Year of Rat FDC

Name: Year of the Rat
Issue date: 2008 January 9th

Millions of people around the world will celebrate the Year of the Rat beginning February 7, 2008. The rat is the first of twelve animals associated with the Chinese lunar calendar. People born in the Year of the Rat are said to be industrious, adaptable, and ambitious. The Year of the Rat ends on January 25, 2009.

The Lunar New Year is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan, and Mongolian heritage in many parts of the world. In the United States as elsewhere, the occasion is marked in various ways across many cultures. Parades, parties, and other special events are common. Festive lanterns—in red for luck—are common decorations at such celebrations, where they are frequently hung in rows.

The stamp design incorporates elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps, including an intricate paper–cut design of a rat and the Chinese character—drawn in grass–style calligraphy—for "Rat".

2008 China Year of the Rat Stamp Minisheet Booklet
2008 Hong Kong Year of the Rat FDC Minisheet FDC Imperf. S/S FDC
2008 Indonesia Year of the Rat FDC S/S FDC
2008 Japan Year of the Rat Lottery S/S FDC
2008 Singapore Year of the Rat FDC Minisheet FDC
2008 Taiwan Year of the Rat FDCs Pre-stamped Postcards
2008 Thailand Year of the Rat FDC Minisheet FDC
2008 USA Year of the Rat FDC
2008 Vietnam Year of the Rat FDC

Argentina Energy Sources FDC

Argentina FDC
Name: 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Oil and Gas in Argentina
Issue date: 2007 November 24th

According to some accounts, the first Argentine oilfield was discovered by chance on December 13th, 1907 while looking for a water supply for the recently founded city of Comodoro Rivadavia. Other accounts point, however, that geological and mineralogical explorations had already been conducted by the government for three years. In 1911, a decree signed by President Roque Roque Sáenz Peña established the General Direction of Oil Exploitation at Comodoro Rivadavia. In 1922, near the end of his first term in office, President Hipólito Yrigoyen founded Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF); President Alvear appointed Colonel Enrique Mosconi as director. Under his administration, which was then discontinued by the coup that toppled the second term in office of President Irigoyen, prospecting efforts were doubled and improved, petrol trade was launched, fuel prices were lowered, and an oil refinery was opened in La Plata, in 1925. Also, there was a drive towards creating a legal framework able to protect national rights over a resource coveted by international interests, althought this effort was partially successful, as the move was resisted by oligarchic sectors and even by Irigoyen's own party. In the future, that struggle would pervade the history of our country.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Estonia Post Horn FDC

Estonia FDC
Name: Post Horn - 5.50 (Definitive Issue)
Issue date: 10 January 2008

The first definitive stamps after the restoration of Estonian independence, featuring the coat of arms of the country (three leopards), were issued on 1 October 1991. Such stamps were issued in a total of 29 denominations. 22 October 1999 saw the issue of definitive stamps in a slightly altered coat of arms design; they exist in 13 different face values. In 2004 Eesti Post launched the issue of definitive stamps featuring county coats of arms, all of them in the lowest domestic letter rate. Twelve such stamps have been brought out until the present. As Estonia has 15 counties, the last three stamps in the series are scheduled for issue in 2008. Definitive stamps with face values above the lowest domestic letter rate began to be issued from February 2005. Featuring the Estonian national flag flying from the tip of the Pikk Hermann Tower, they were issued with three different face values. Definitive stamps with face values lower than the ordinary domestic letter rate were issued since September 2004 in three different flower designs and two face values. All the definitive stamps issued since September 2004 are self-adhesive. A new series of post horn definitive stamps in the same design but in different colours according to the face value will be launched in 2008. The first such stamp will be on sale in all Estonia's post offices from January 10.

Estonia Post Horn - Definitive Series FDCs
0.50; 5.50; 6.50; 9.00

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

India Snows Basilica FDC

India FDC
Name: Snows Basilica
Issue date: 2007 December 25th

The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is located at the small town of Velankanni in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India. The Roman Catholic Basilica is devoted to Our Lady of Good Health. Devotion to Our Lady of Good Health of Velankanni can be traced to the mid-16th century and is attributed to three miracles: the apparition of Mary and the Christ Child to a slumbering shepherd boy, the curing of a lame buttermilk vendor, and the rescue of Portuguese sailors from a violent sea storm.

Although all three apparitions ultimately resulted in the erection of a shrine to our Lady, it was the promise of the Portuguese sailors that was the proximate cause of a permanent edifice being built at Velankanni. The chapel was dedicated on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8), the day of their safe landing. More than 500 years later, the nine-day festival and celebration is still observed and draws nearly 2 million pilgrims each year. The Shrine of Our Lady of Vailankanni, also known as the "Lourdes of the East," is one of the most frequented religious sites in India. More...

Official Website of Snows Basilica

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Singapore Airport FDC

Singapore FDC
Name: Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3
Issue date: 2008 January 9th

The opening of Terminal 3 brings to fruition the three terminal masterplan for Singapore Changi Airport.

Poised to propel Changi Airport further ahead as a premier global air hub and the world's best airport, Terminal 3 is set to deliver unsurpassed quality of service, efficiency and safety, and promises a brand new experience for all travellers who pass through its gates.

This stamp issue is released to commemorate the start of flight operations at Terminal 3 on 9 January 2008. The four stamps incorporate elements that reflect Terminal 3's dynamic environment – the thoughtful integration of nature's wonders with state-of-the-art technology. All these come together to create a relaxing and refined ambience which embraces a myriad of enjoyable, comfortable and entertaining facilities that charm and revitalize travellers.

1st Local: Eco-friendly Engineering

The new terminal building is specially respectful of nature and responsive to environmental concerns. Wherever possible, the design architects opted for eco-friendly alternatives and innovative engineering.

Terminal 3's state-of-the-art roof comprises 919 skylights and reflector panels that infuse the building interior with an optimal amount of soft, natural daylight.

$0.65: All Ready for A380
Many infrastructural details were built into Terminal 3 to equip the new terminal for the super jumbo aircraft A380.

Dedicated A380 enhancements include enlarged gate holdrooms, extended baggage belt carousels and aerobridge gates each equipped with a third arm to facilitate boarding and disembarking of passengers from A380's upper and lower cabins.

$1.10: A Refreshing Environment That Breathes With Life
Terminal 3 is an eco-conscious architecture teeming with life, echoing Singapore's tropical Garden City theme.

Spanning 300 metres across the main building, Terminal 3's five-storey high vertical garden, called the "Green Wall" is covered with climbing plants and is interspersed with four cascading waterfalls. In addition, a sculptured sandstone art wall display located below the "Green Wall" offers an artistic treat for arriving passengers waiting for their baggage.

$2.00: Life + Style
Changi Airport has been a favourite among passengers around the world for its efficiency and attention to passenger comfort. Terminal 3 is all geared up to heighten that experience.

An expansive 25,000 square metres of space has been transformed into a dynamic retail and dining zone with more than 100 shops, over 40 F&B
outlets and over 20 service concessions.

Bright, open and airy, Terminal 3 offers the ideal lifestyle features and amenities to help sideline the stresses of modern travelling.

This is a special Cover/FDC. Could you find there are three A380 super aircrafts on this Cover? Yes, my friend made this Cover because of the Terminal 3 is ready for A380.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Portugal Dakar Rally FDC

Portugal FDC
Name: Dakar, 30 Years of Adventure
Issue date: 2008 January 5th

After different exchanges with the French government - in particular the Ministry for Foreign Affairs - , and based on their firm recommendations, the organisers of the Dakar have taken the decision to cancel the 2008 edition of the rally, scheduled from the 5th to the 20th of January between Lisbon and Senegal's capital.

Based on the current international political tension and the murder of four French tourists last 24th of December linked to a branch of Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb, but also and mainly the direct threats launched directly against the race by terrorist organisations, no other decision but the cancellation of the sporting event could be taken by A.S.O.

A.S.O.'s first responsibility is to guarantee the safety of all: that of the populations in the countries visited, of the amateur and professional competitors, of the technical assistance personnel, of the journalists, partners and rally collaborators. A.S.O. therefore reaffirms that the choice of security is not, has never been and will never be a subject of compromise at the heart of the Dakar rally.

A.S.O. condemns the terrorist menace that annihilates a year of hard work, engagement and passion for all the participants and the different actors of the world's biggest off-road rally. Aware of the huge frustration, especially in Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal, and beyond the general disappointment and the huge economical consequences in terms of direct and indirect repercussions for the countries visited, A.S.O. will continue to defend the major values of great sporting events and will carry on its engagement for a durable development through the Actions Dakar, started 5 years ago in sub-Saharan Africa with SOS Sahel International.

The Dakar is a symbol and nothing can destroy symbols. The cancellation of the 2008 edition does not endanger the future of the Dakar. To offer, for 2009 a new adventure to all the off-road rally passionate is a challenge that A.S.O. will take on in the months to come, faithful to its engagement and its passion for sports.

The official Euromilhões Lisboa Dakar 2008 Website

Sunday, January 20, 2008

India Ghatak FDC

India FDC
Name: Ritwik Ghatak
Issue date: 2007 December 31st

Ritwik Ghatak has come to be regarded as one of the greatest figures in the history of Indian Cinema. Though the made only eight feature and short films, his brilliant and abrasive films are considered to be among the most revolutionary achievements in contemporary Indian cinema. Ritwik Ghatak was born in Dhaka in East Bengal (now Bangladesh) on 14-11-1925. He belonged to an illustrious family. His father Suresh Chandra Ghatak was a district magistrate and also a poet and playwright. Mother's name was Indubala Devi. He was their 11th and youngest child. He and his family moved to Kolkata just before millions of other refugees from East Bengal began to flood into the city, fleeing the catastrophic 1943 famine and the Partition of India 1947.

Identification with the tide of refugees was to define his practice, providing an overriding metaphor for cultural dismemberment and exile that unified his subsequent creative work.

In 1948, Ghatak wrote the first play Kala Sayar (The Dark Lake), and participated in a revival of the landmark play Nabanna, in 1951, Ghatak joined the Indian People's Theatre Association(IPTA). He wrote, directed and acted in plays and translated Bertolt Brecht and Gogol into Bengali. In 1957, he wrote and directed his last play Jwala (The Burning).

Ghatak moved briefly to Pune in 1966, where he taught at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). He died on 6-2-1976.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lithuania Churchs FDC

Lithuania FDC
Name: Wooden Sacral Architecture in Lithuania
Date of Issue: 05 January 2008

5 ct:
The church of Antantė. 1794.
10 ct: The church of Degučiai. 1757.
20 ct: The church of Inturkė. 1855.
35 ct: The church of Prienai. 1750.
1.35 Lt: The church of Šiaudinė. 1775.
1.55 Lt: The church of Užventis. 1703.

Please compare these two FDCs and could you find any problem? If you can't, check here and try again.

"Wooden Sacral Architecture of Lithuania" Definitive Series:
2008: 5 ct, 10 ct, 20 ct, 35 ct, 1.35 Lt, 1.55 Lt.
2009: 10 ct, 20 ct, 1.35 Lt.

"Wooden Church Belfries" Definitive Series:
2007: 5 ct, 35 ct, 1.35 Lt, 1.55 Lt, 2.15 Lt.
2009: 50 ct, 1,35 Lt.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

India Butterflies M/S FDC

India Minisheet FDC
Name: Endemic Butterflies of Andaman And Nicobar Islands
Issue date: 2008 January 2nd

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are blessed with rich butterfly fauna due to presence of humid tropical rainforest. The long isolation of these islands and their relatively undisturbed ecology provides scope for the evolution of many endemic varieties. The butterfly fauna of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has a high degree of endemism, they are very unique. Some of the endemic butterflies are, Andaman Morman, Andaman Club Tail, Andaman Snow Oak Leaf, Tailless Oak Blue and Andman Snow Flat: Nicobar Yeoman and Nicobar Map. The Department of Posts is happy to issue a set of four postage stamps on endemic butterflies of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Could you find any problem on this FDC?

2007 Indonesia Butterflies FDCs
2008 India Butterflies FDC
2008 India Butterflies Minisheet FDC
2008 Malaysia Butterflies FDC
2008 Malaysia Butterflies Souvenir Sheet FDC

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

India Butterflies FDC

India FDC
Name: Endemic Butterflies of Andaman And Nicobar Islands
Issue date: 2008 January 2nd

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are blessed with rich butterfly fauna due to presence of humid tropical rainforest. The long isolation of these islands and their relatively undisturbed ecology provides scope for the evolution of many endemic varieties. The butterfly fauna of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has a high degree of endemism, they are very unique. Some of the endemic butterflies are, Andaman Morman, Andaman Club Tail, Andaman Snow Oak Leaf, Tailless Oak Blue and Andman Snow Flat: Nicobar Yeoman and Nicobar Map. The Department of Posts is happy to issue a set of four postage stamps on endemic butterflies of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


Andaman Mormon (Papilio Mayo) was the first endemic butterfly described from Andaman Islands. The wing expanse of male is 120 mm while that of female is 150 mm. the body is black in both sexes. Male has black upper side; fore wing without internervular streak, hind wing without tail, antediscal broad blue band, underside black; fore wing with basal red streak and obscure internervular veins; hind wing with red patch, a complete red ocellus, submarginal blue lunular spots; posterior ones less prominent.

The female has fore wing with broad internervular streaks; while in the discal area. Hind wing is interrupted by an oval black sport and by a b road elongated black patch, apical half of tail is red whitish at apex. It food plant is citrus plant of climbing vine. this endemic species is not rare in Andamans but females are very difficult to sight. This is a forest species which inhabits North to South Andamans. It resembles Great Mormon and is also mimic to Andaman Clubtail.

Wing expanse of female is 140mm. The female is mimic to female Andaman Mormon and flies slowly together in forest paths. This endemic species used to be very common in 80's in South Andamans but now a days it is rarely sighted. Its food plant is Thotia tomentosa.

5,00 PACHILIOPTA RHODIFER (MALE)(Andaman Clubtail)
Wing expanse of male 120mm. The body of the male is red upper side black; fore wing has pale streaks extending up to apex of cell; hind wing are more crimson red; hind wing upper side distend with black scales, discal more extensive; antediscal spot extends well below vein.

2007 Indonesia Butterflies FDCs
2008 India Butterflies FDC
2008 India Butterflies Minisheet FDC
2008 Malaysia Butterflies FDC
2008 Malaysia Butterflies Souvenir Sheet FDC

China Minisheet: 2008-2

China Minisheet
Name: Zhuxian Town New Year Woodprints
Number: 2008-2
Issue date: 2008 January 15th

China 2008-2 Zhuxian Town New Year Woodprints Stamps
China 2008-2 Zhuxian Town New Year Woodprints Minisheet

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Italy Constitution FDC

Italy FDC
Name: The 60th Anniversary of the Italian Constitution
Issue date: 2008 January 2nd

The Constitution of Italy (Italian: Costituzione della Repubblica Italiana) is the supreme law of Italy. It was approved by the Constituent Assembly (Assemblea Costituente) on 22 December 1947; with 453 votes for, 62 votes against, and 3 votes canceled. The Constituent Assembly was elected with the universal suffrage on 2 June 1946; at the same time, italian people voted to switch the form of the state from Monarchy to Republic; This is the Birth of the Italian Republic.

The 1948 Constitution established a bicameral parliament, with a lower and an upper chamber (respectively Chamber of Deputies and Senate), a separate judiciary branch, and an executive branch composed of a Council of Ministers (cabinet), headed by the president of the council (prime minister). The government depends on confidence from each branch of the parliament, and has in turn the power to make decrees. Decrees have to be confirmed in the parliament, and "decree jam" has been a problem in recent years, as governments try to reform the structure of the state using chiefly decrees instead of passing laws directly through the parliament.

This FDC was sent from "Roma Camera Deputati" Post Office which is in the Italy Chamber of Deputies (La Camera dei Deputati). You can compare the address on the Italy Post Office website to the address on the

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Malaysia Flowers FDC

Malaysia FDC
Name: Garden Flowers - State Definitive Series (Pulau Pinang)
Issue date: 2007 December 31st

Malaysia is a paradise of fascinating sights and attractions, well-known for its rich and enormous variety of flora which range from many thousands of species from all over Peninsular Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak. It is estimated that over 15000 flowering plant species are found in Malaysia. The flowering plants include some 2000 type of trees, including 200 different palms and 3000 species of orchids. In addition to that the world's largest flower, the giant rafflesia (also known as corpse lily), as well as the largest pitcher plant, the Nepenthes rajah, which can hold up to 2 liters of water, also grow here. The plants come in a tremendous diversity in plant species varying in colour, shape, texture and density of leaves.

5 sen: Nelumbium nelumbo

Sacred lotus is an aquatic perennial, originally from Indonesia and India. The Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nelumbo) has great significance in Eastern religion. This flower is especially sacred to Buddhists, to whom it represents the perpetual cycles or reincarnation. It grows up to a height of 19 feet depending on the depth of a swamp or creek it grows in. The roots of the sacred lotus are firmly planted in the mud beneath the water surface. It has a long stern to which the leaves and flowers are attached. The big circular leaves float on the surface and the flowers grow above it. The pink or white sacred lotus blooms early in the morning and the petals will wilt the later hours of daylight. The fruit is a conical shaped pod with the seeds arranged in the holes. When the seed are ripe, they are released when the pod bends down towards the water. The flowers, seeds, young leaves and rhizomes are edible, while the big mature leaves, 2 feet in diameter, are used to wrap steamed food.

10 sen: Hydrangea macrophylla
Hydrangea macrophylla is native to Japan and Korea. This shrub can be naturalized in compatible climates. It is a deciduous shrub, growing 1-3 metre tall. The leaves grow opposite each other, in simple ovoid-acute size, 7-20cm long, with a coarsely toothed margin. Its flowers are pink, white or blue, depending on soil pH. In acidic coil, the flowers will be blue, whereas in alkaline soil, the flowers will be pink. In neutral soil flowers well be purple. Hydrangea macrophylla has been cultivated for many years as an ornamental plant in Japan, and in the last 150 years, it is also extensively bred in other areas of the world with a temperate climate.

In warm climates, Hydrangea macrophylla is good for adding a splash of spring time colour to shady areas and woodland gardens. Minimal pruning is recommended for most prolific flowering. Flowers are easily air dried and are long lasting.

20 sen: Hippeastrum reticulatum
Hippeastrum reticulatum is a bulb-bearing herb from southern Brazil. This plant has a fleshy and straight stalk with three or more flowers. Brown from bulbs, the flowers are trumpet shaped, and pink in colour with white veins. The flower naturally reaches a diameter of about 3 inches. Typical broad strap-shaped leaves are dark green with clear white stripe down the center. The gorgeous flowers are pink with darker reticulations. It does not have a dormant period. This selection is a slow grower and is not as large as other clones. This flower is normally grown to be used in flower arrangements and as potted plants.

30 sen: Bougainvillea
This woody climbers were introduced from South America. The long vine are thorny and the alternate ovate elliptical leaves are hairy. The small flowers are surrounded by large papery bracts. An evergreen shrubbery vine. Bougainvillea is popular for its long-lasting, colourful flower bracts which appear periodically throughout the year.

Most common colours of the bracts are magenta, purple, white, orange and crimson, though "rainbow" bougainvilleas with flowers of two colours on the same plant are common today. Bougainvillea can grow on its own as a sprawling shrub, or allowed to grow naturally where it will quickly cover fences or climb onto trees.

40 sen: Ipomoea indica
Ipomoea indica is a tender perennial with heart-shaped leaves and with flowers produced daily from a dense clustered inflorescense. It grows up to 7cm long, tubular and arranged in clusters of 3 to 12 flowers. Ipomoea indica is a native of Hawaii and the New World tropics, but it has become an invasive species in Australia. It is also present in Asia, although they grown in subtropical and temperate regions.

Morning glory is a common name for a number of species of flowering plants in the family of Vonvolvulaceae. The Morning Glory flowers often show marks where the corolla was neatly folded or rolled up in the bud. The flowers will start to fade 2 hours before the petals start to curl in.

Morning Glory is one of the best flowers to decorate fences and walls. Today, Ipomoea indica is found throughout the tropics, scrambling over fences and over woody plants, often to their detriment. However, it is delight when in bloom.

50 sen: Hibiscs rosa-sinensis
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the state flower of Hawaii, and also the national flower of Malaysia. Also known as the Chinese hibiscus, it is probably the most popular and widely planted shrub of the tropics. It is believed to be native to China and came to the world bay via South Pacific and Hawaii. This plant creates a bold effect with its medium textured, glossy and dark green leaves and vibrantly coloured, four to eight-inch-wide, showy flowers, produced throughout the year. Cultivars are available with the combination of single or double flowers in shades of white, pink, red, yellow, peach, or orange, or combination of all these. Hibiscus flowers are basically characterized as single or double forms of variations in the number and arrangement of petals.

Flowers are produced continuously in great abundance, making up for the fact that each flower will last only for one ore two days with the blossoms opening early in the morning and wilting by late afternoon. Most hibiscuses are odourless, but some of the basic varieties have a light scent. The Hibiscus, Malaysia's national flower is the pride of the country which signifies the country’s strength, unity and independence.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

India Chavan FDC

India FDC
Name: S.B. Chavan
Issue date: 2007 December 17th

Shri Shankarrao Bhaurao Chavan was an eminent political personality, an outstanding parliamentarian and an able administrator. Born to Shri Bhaurao Chavan and Shrimati Laxmibai Chavan at Paithan in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra on 14th July 1920, Shri Chavan graduated from Madras University. He got a law degree from Osmania University. Shri Chavan participated in the freedom struggle in erstwhile Hyderabad state right from his student days and gave up practice during the Quit Court Movement there.

Known as 'Marathwadyache Shilpkar', Shri S.B. Chavan was also associated with various social and educational organizations. He was chancellor of the Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth, a deemed University, in Pune. He also served as Chairman of the Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi.

Shri S.B. Chavan had a long and distinguished political career starting with member of the Bombay State Legislative council in 1956. In 1957, he was elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and remained a member of the Assembly till 1980. He was again elected to the Maharashtra Legislative Council in 1986 and remained a member of it till 1988. Shri Chavan held the office of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra twice, from 1975 to 1977 and from March 1986 to June 1988. He was also a Member of the Seventh and the Eighth Lok Sabha. He represented the State of Maharashtra in Rajya Sabha for three terms, from October 1988 to April 1990, April 1990 to April 1996 and again from April 1996 to April 2002. He was the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha from July 1991 to May 1996. He was Chairman of the Committee on Human Resource Development from 1996 to 2002 and was also Chairman of the Ethics Committee from 1997 to 2002.

Shri S.B. Chavan served as a Cabinet Minister for several years holding the portfolios of Education, Culture and Social Welfare, External Affairs, Defence, home Affairs and Finance. As the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India from August 1981 to July 1984, he provided impetus to the development process.

He was also known for his contribution in irrigation projects like Jaikwadi Prakalp at Paithan, Vishnupuri Prakalp and Upper Painganga Prakalp.

Shri S.B. Chavan passed away on the 26th February, 2004, at the age of 84 years.

Friday, January 11, 2008

China Stamp: 2008-2

China Stamp
Name: Zhuxian Town New Year Woodprints
Number: 2008-2
Issue date: 2008 January 15th
Value: 4 stamps/set

Zhuxianzhen New Year Woodprints get its name as it is mainly produced in Zhuxian Town, 23 kilometers from Kaifeng, capital city of central China's Henan Province.

The place began to produce New Year pictures in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), and prospered in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. There were more than 300 workshops in Zhuxian Town at its peak.

At the end of the Qing Dynasty, the production of woodprints began to decline in Zhuxian Town, but the workshops moved to the city of Kaifeng, where the business of woodprints revived, with a number of famous workshops being established.
After the liberation in 1949, some authoritative institutions were established in Kaifeng, dedicated to protect and collect this traditional woodprint craft.

The themes of Zhuxianzhen woodprints mainly vary from portraits of martial and intellectual gods to portraits of spirits. The themes are classified into three categories; exorcising ghosts and conferring blessings; propitious gods and customs; theatrical and historical legends.

The pictures printed in Zhuxian are very popular due to their bright colors, exaggerated images, rough lines and full compositions.

Every year on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, Zhuxian holds a New Year Picture fair to commemorate its anniversary. It is also the day to start the printing of its New Year pictures.

China 2008-2 Zhuxian Town New Year Woodprints Stamps
China 2008-2 Zhuxian Town New Year Woodprints Minisheet

Vatican Christmas FDC

Vatican FDC
Name: Christmas - The Nativity (Malta - Vatican Joint issue)
Date of Issue: 2007 November 20th

This set features details from one of Giuseppe Cali's paintings, The Nativity, one of the paintings found at St Andrew's parish church in Luqa.

Work on the naves in the parish church of St Andrew in Luqa village was close to completion towards the end of the year 1904. At this stage, the residents of Luqa felt that the four original paintings would now appear to be smaller in comparison to the new altars, and accordingly decided to install a new set of paintings.

The parish priest of Luqa, the Reverend Anton Vella, commissioned Giuseppe Cali (1846-1930) to work on four new paintings for the naves. The painting of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was ready and in place in 1906, and the other three paintings – Saint Dominic, Saint Michael and the Birth of Jesus (the Nativity) – were unveiled on the occasion of the feast of Saint Andrew in November of 1908. In the Chapel of the Nativity, Cali also painted two small oval works depicting Saint Francis and St Spiridione.

After the war, the painting of the Nativity (like those of St Dominic and St Michael) was enlarged by Professor Oscar Testa to be brought in line with the new frame, and the actual measurements (approximately 218 x 152 cm) are different from the original measurements. In fact, closer examination will reveal the joints in the canvas.

The painting of The Nativity, which is signed, shows the Baby Jesus in a manger, surrounded by the Madonna, Saint Joseph, two countrywomen and a young girl. In the past this painting was often referred to as the St Joseph painting. It is worth mentioning that Giuseppe Cali painted the Nativity scene in at least two other Maltese churches – on the main dome of Lija parish church (1893) and on one of the lunettes in the Mosta Rotunda.

2009 Christmas FDCs:
Estonia, Israel, Lithuania.

2008 Christmas FDCs:
Canada: The Nativity, Canada: Winter Fun, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania.

2007 Christmas FDCs:
Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, Lithuania, Ukraine, Vatican.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Belarus New Year FDCs

Belarus FDCs
Name: Happy New Year! (Christmas)
Issue date: 2007 December 7th

1050: New year's composition with candle
1050: New year's fir tree and gift

240: Children with dog
240: Children with gift
1500: Boy on skates with gift
1500: Girl on skates

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Belarus Bells FDCs

Belarus FDCs
Name: Bells of Belarus
Issue date: 2007 December 7th

600: Made in 1937
1000: Made in XIX c.
1200: Made in 1928

2500: Made in XVII c.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Ukraine Costumes M/S FDC

Ukraine Minisheet FDC
Name: Traditional Costumes
Issue date: 2007 December 22nd

70 K.:
Traditional costumes of Khmelnitsky.
70 K.: Traditional costumes of Khmelnitsky.
70 K.: Traditional costumes of Bukovina region.
70 K.: Traditional costumes of Bukovina region.
70 K.: Traditional costumes of Zakarpatie region.
70 K.: Traditional costumes of Zakarpatie region.

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