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

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