Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Taiwan Seashells (III) FDC

Taiwan FDC
Name: Seashells of Taiwan (3rd Series)
Date of Issue: 26 February 2008
Number: Sp.529

Strombus sinuatus (紫袖鳳凰螺)
Spindle-shaped, the shell has tawny or reddish brown stripes and a purple red aperture. There are big nodules on its backside. Its aperture is narrow and its outer lip flares widely. The rim of the adult shell’s outer lip is thick with finger-like projections on the posterior edge.

NT$5.00: Royal Paper Bubble Hydatina amplustre (玫瑰泡螺)
This ball-shaped shell is light and thin like a bubble. It is covered with rosy pink and white bands, though some of the shells also have black bands. This beautiful glossy shell has a very small spire.

NT$12.00: Black-striped Triton Cymatium hepaticum (金色美法螺)
This spindle-shaped shell is covered with orange yellow and dark brown stripes and some occasional white speckles. The surface of the shell is very sculptured. The rim of its aperture is orange with white teeth.

NT$12.00: Episcopal Miter Shell Mitra mitra (錦鯉筆螺)
With a white shell that is oblong-shaped (resembling the writing end of a Chinese calligraphic brush) and covered with either red or yellow spots, it reminds people of a koi. There are more red-spotted ones than yellow spotted ones. It has a narrow aperture and a very short siphonal canal.

2007 Seashells of Taiwan FDC (1st Series)
2008 Seashells of Taiwan FDC (2nd Series)
2009 Seashells of Taiwan FDC (3rd Series)

Monday, March 30, 2009

China Pre-stamped Postcard JP156

China Pre-stamped Postcard
Name: The Second World Buddhist Forum
Number: JP156
Date of Issue: 28 March 2009

The Second World Buddhist Forum will open on Saturday in Wuxi City of east China's Jiangsu Province.

The forum, which is scheduled to be held from March 28 to April 1, is expected to bring together more than 1,200 participants from about 50 countries and regions.

The Second World Buddhist Forum is jointly organized by the Buddhist Association of China, Buddha's Light International Association, the Hong Kong Buddhist Association and the China Religious Culture Communication Association. Participants to the forum will be transferred to Taipei by four charter flights on March 30.

The theme of the Second World Buddhist Forum is "A harmonious world, a synergy of conditions."

The participants will take part in 17 sub-forums and will discuss topics including charity, environmental protection, culture, music and education.

China Pre-stamped Postcard JP155

China Pre-stamped Postcard
Name: 50th Anniversary of Emancipation of One Million Tibetan Serfs
Number: JP155
Date of Issue: 28 March 2009

On March 28, 1959, the State Council issued an order to dismiss the local government of Tibet and replace it with a preparatory committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region. On the very day, about one million serfs were freed.

In the 1950s, Tibet was a serfdom, which was contrary to the utopian land of "Shangri-la" depicted by British author James Hilton in his novel "The Lost Horizon.

Under the Tibetan serfdom, serf owners, who accounted for less than five percent of the population, occupied all the cultivated land and grassland and the majority of the livestock in Tibet.

The owners could exploit their serfs by using their labor, levying taxes on them, and profiteering by giving loans to their serfs at an interest of 10-30 percent. Serfs, sometimes, had to repay their debts generation by generation.

Before 1959, 80-90 percent of Tibetan serfs owed debts to their owners, and 30-40 percent of these serfs were paying debts that were borrowed by older generations.

The old Tibetan law divided Tibetans into three classes, in nine grades. The inferiors had to be punished if they offended the superiors.

Under the old law, the cost of a first-grade superior was equal to gold weighed as much as his corpse, while the cost of the ninth-grade inferior was a straw rope.

After March 28, 1959, serfdom-based feudal regimes of all levels were toppled and the people's democratic rule was established in Tibet. The Democratic Reform was launched, in which the liberated serfs were given cultivated land and cattle, for the first time in their lives.

In 1961, the first-ever elections of people's congresses of different levels were held in Tibet, with all former serfs and slaves allowed to use their rights of electing or being elected.

In 2002, 93.09 percent voters in Tibet joined in the elections, while in some areas, the voting rate was 100 percent. Minority lawmakers made up over 80 percent of the total at the regional and prefectural levels and over 90 percent of the total at the county and town levels. More...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Estonia Piip FDC

Estonia FDC
Name: Republic of Estonia heads of state 1918-2018 - Ants Piip
Date of Issue: 26 February 2009

Ants Piip VR III/1 (February 28, 1884, Tuhalaane, now in Karksi Parish, Viljandi County, Estonia – October 1, 1942, ) was an Estonian

Piip studied at the Teachers' Seminar in Kuldīga (formerly Goldingen), now in Latvia. In 1903–1905, he was a parish clerk and schoolteacher at Alūksne (Alulinn, Marienburg, today in Latvia), also a teacher in the Emperor Nikolai Greek Orthodox Parish School in Kuressaare in 1905–1906, in the Kuressaare Marine School in 1906–1912, and in the Janson Merchant School in St. Petersburg in 1913–1915. He took his High School exams at the Kuressaare State High School, studied at the law department of the St. Petersburg University in 1908–1913, took additional courses in the Berlin University in 1912, received a scientific scholarship from the St. Petersburg University in 1913–1916.

Piip was a member of the Estonian Province Assembly (Eesti Maapäev), and later a member of the Constituent Assembly (Asutav Kogu), and after that, of the Riigikogu. In 1917–1919, Piip was a member of the Estonian Foreign Mission in St. Petersburg and in London, he participated in the Paris Peace Conference. In 1919 he was Deputy to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1919–1920 Member of the Estonian delegation in the Tartu peace negotiations between Estonia and the Russian SFSR. In 1919–1940 he was Professor of International Law in Tartu University. In 1920, he was the diplomatic representative the Republic of Estonia in Great Britain. 1920–1921, while Elder of State, Piip was also the Minister of War. He held position of Minister of Foreign Affairs five times, also he was in 1923–1925 the Envoy of Estonia to the United States of America. During 1938–1940, Piip was also member of the Riigivolikogu (second chamber of the Riigikogu under its temporary structure).

Piip was arrested by the NKVD in June, 1941 and he died in a Soviet prison camp the next year.

"Republic of Estonia heads of state 1918-2018" Series FDCs:
Otto Strandman
Ants Piip
Lennart Meri

Friday, March 27, 2009

Algeria Heritages FDC

Algeria FDC
Name: Islamic Heritages
Date of Issue: 25 February 2009

Mausoleum of Sidi Abderrahmane (Algiers)
20.00: Mausoleum of Sidi Ibrahim, El Atteuf (Ghardaïa)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hong Kong Mainland Scenery FDC

Hong Kong FDC
Name: Mainland Scenery Series No. 8: Mount Tianshan, Xinjiang
Date of Issue: 24 February 2009

China boasts a rich variety of natural wonders and spectacular scenery throughout its vast territory. Hongkong Post issues Mainland Scenery Series No. 8 to showcase the grandeur of Mount Tianshan, Xinjiang, with its majestic mountains and dazzling icescape.

Spanning 2,500 kilometres, Mount Tianshan runs through central Xinjiang. One of the most extensive mountain belts in central Asia, Mount Tianshan includes three ranges, from north to south: North Tianshan, Central Tianshan and South Tianshan. Its summit is Tuomur Peak.

Mount Tianshan is also the largest contemporary glacier region in China, enjoying its reputation as the "Glacier Kingdom". Among glaciers of different scales, Glacier No. 1, dubbed the "living glacier fossil", stands out for its magnificent ice waterfall that glitters in blue under the sun.

Bogeda Peak is the pinnacle of the eastern section of Mount Tianshan. On the north slope of the towering Bogeda lies the crescent-shaped Lake Tianchi – a famous tourist attraction. Named "Lake Yaochi" in the past, the sapphire lake is a feature of ancient glacier erosion. At an elevation of more than 1,900 metres above sea level, it collects melted snow from surrounding peaks. The lake, with its gleaming and translucent waters, is known for its unique grace.

With distinct and strong seasonal changes, Gongnaisi Forestry Farm in central Mount Tianshan offers kaleidoscopic scenery. There you can feast your eyes on forests of lofty Schrenk's Spruce against a backdrop of rolling mountains.

The stamp sheetlet highlights in icy blue and snowy white the breathtaking vistas of Mount Tianshan. The upper part presents the gorgeous mountain range. The snapshot on the lower right reveals the silvery world of the snow-clad Gongnaisi Forestry Farm. The stamp gives a glimpse of the pristine and serene Lake Tianchi.

Mainland Scenery Series:
No. 7: Huanglong
No. 8: Mount Tianshan, Xinjiang

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lithuania Coats of Arms FDC

Lithuania FDC
Name: Coats of Arms of Lithuania Towns
Date of Issue: 21 February 2009

The locality was already known in the times of Vytautas the Great – since 1409. In 1416 was the centre of Upytės powiat (second-level unit of local government). The first church in Krekenava was built by Vytautas in 1419, after the christening of Žemaičiai. The settlement was mentioned as a town in 1561. The Church of Ascension of Holly Virgin Mary is famous for a miraculous painting of Mother of God in the central altar and for Žolinės festival. This church attracts most prayers from the northern and middle Lithuania. There are two symbols in the emblem of the town – in the blue shield background there are three silver lilacs, which symbolize Holly Mary, and underneath in the red field – golden kanklės (a Lithuanian plucked string musical instrument related to the zither) made by the local craftsmen.

1.35Lt: Pakruojis
Pakruojis was mentioned indirectly for the first time in the note of Trakai voivedeship, when it was allowed to establish a manor and town by a privilege. It is stated that the establishment of the town which was later was named Pakruojis took place approximately between 1525 and 1531. In 1613 the first church was built. The Pakruojis manor is an example of late Classicism architecture, the largest extant ensemble of manor’s buildings in Lithuania. In the end of XIX – beginning of XX century Pakruojis was the centre of a volost (traditional administrative subdivision in Lithuania) and after it became the regional centre in 1950, it was granted town rights. Emblem of this city – black arch bridge on the golden background over which there is a red shield with golden wind mill. The town distinguishes from others by its wind mills and a unique arch bridge in Lithuania, therefore these images were used in the emblem of Pakruojis.

3 Lt: Šalčininkai
Šalčininkai for the first time were mentioned in Duisburg chronicles in 1311. In 1410 the first church was built. In XV century this settlement was already a town, but it gained the town rights only in 1956. In 1882 the railway line Vilnius–Lyda was built, which went through Šalčininkai. In 1972 the regional centre was moved from Eišiškės to Šalčininkai. Emblem of the town consists of two parts. In the upper part of the shield there are two crossed keys in the blue background – keys of the apostle St. Peter – symbol of the Catholic land. In the lower part – red background – truss of nuts, this symbolizes the unity and brotherhood of various nations living in Šalčininkai.

Comment: My friend made 3 errors on this FDC, could you find out?

Lithuania Coats of Arms Series FDCs:
Joniškis; Jurbarkas; Širvintos
Krekenava; Pakruojis; Šalčininkai

Sunday, March 22, 2009

China Stamp: 2009-6

China Stamps
Name: Selected Masterpieces of Shitao
Number: 2009-6
Date of Issue: 22 March 2009
Value: 6 stamps/set

80分 (6-1):
Painting of Chaohu Lake
1.20元 (6-2): Painting of Enjoying Fountain Sound
1.20元 (6-3): Painting of Double Chrysanthemums
1.20元 (6-4): Painting of Plum Blossoms and Bamboos
1.20元 (6-5): Painting of Horse and Its Owner
1.20元 (6-6): Ink Painting of Lotuses

Shitao (1641 - about 1718), born in Guangxi, was China's famous painter in Qing Dynasty. His original name was Zhu Ruoji, In order to avoid war disaster, he was converted to Buddhism with the religious name of Yuan Ji. He styled himself Shitao and had the sobriquet of Kugua Heshang (Balsam Pear Monk) and Da Dizi. He was known as one of the "Four Famous Monks in Early Qing Dynasty", together with Hong Ren, Kun Can and Zhu Da. Shitao was adept in painting mountains and water, flowers and figures, and had made great achievements in painting theory research. He published the Research of Kugua Heshang on Painting. Insisting on "learning from the ancient people to develop painting theories of today", he widely absorbed advantages of the previous painters; he also learned from the nature and insisted on "searching all the exotic peaks before painting mountains". Featuring novel composition, Shitao's paintings were dynamic with unrestrained strokes, diversified light-ink dots, great momentum and boundless scope, exerting extremely profound influences on the development of Chinese in Qing Dynasty and even in modern China.

Friday, March 20, 2009

China Pre-stamped Postcard JP154

China Pre-stamped Postcard
Name: CHIESER S&T Expo
Number: JP154
Date of Issue: 19 March 2009

Global climate change, energy and resource shortages and deterioration of ecological environment have posed great challenges to the sustainable development of humanity. It is a common task for all countries to improve energy efficiency, pollution control and emissions reduction, and to effectively develop and apply new energy.

As a major producer and consumer of energy, China is faced with multiple pressures of economic development, natural resource shortage and environmental protection. It is a choice of necessity for China to implement energy efficient and emissions reduction measures and vigorously promote the development and application of new energy in order to achieve sustainable development

Jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Science & Technology of China (MOST), National Development and Reform Commission of China (NRDC), Ministry of Education of China (MOE), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China (MOIIT), Ministry of Finance of China (MOF), Ministry of Environmental Protection of China (MOEP), Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China (MOHURD), Ministry of Transport of China (MOT), Ministry of Railways of China (MOR), Government Offices Administration of the State Council (GOASC), National Energy Administration (NEA), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), the 2009 China International Energy Saving, Emissions Reduction and New Energy Science & Technology Expo (CHIESER S&T Expo) will be held in Beijing from March 19 to 23, 2009 to showcase and promote domestic and international technological achievements in energy efficiency and emissions reduction, and accelerate cooperation and transaction of technologies, equipments and products.

Official Website of the CHIESER S&T Expo

Comment: This Pre-stamped Postcard (JP154) has two first in China Pre-stamped Postcards (JP series) history. 1.It's the first time the pre-stamped uses the large size, the traditional size is 148×100mm, but this postcard is 165×115mm; 2.This is the first time that the postcard was made by recycled paper.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lithuania Church FDC

Lithuania FDC
Name: Wooden Sacral Architecture of Lithuania and Wooden Church Belfries
Date of Issue: 21 February 2009

10 ct:
The Church of Degučiai. 1757
20 ct: The Church of Inturkė. 1855
1,35 Lt: The Church of Šiaudinė. 1775

50 ct: Belfry of Tryškiai Church. 18c
1 Lt: Belfry of Šaukėnai Church. 18 c

Comment: Lithuania Post used special cancellation and official FDC for "Wooden Church Belfries" seires, But they didn't use them again this time, only a plain envelope and postmark. The "Wooden Sacral Architecture of Lithuania" Series just changed its year.

"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.

Israel Extreme Sport FDC

Israel FDC
Name: Extreme Sport
Date of Issue: 17 February 2009

Are extreme sports actually sports, an art form or a way of life? Whatever the answer may be, the various types of extreme sports possess common characteristics, such as creativity, freedom and originality. As extreme sports continue to gather momentum in Israel, the water and urban fields engage the largest numbers of participants.

שח 4.40:
Mountain Biking
Bicycle racing and road biking have been around for many years, but it was not until the early 1970's that a group of rebellious youths from the Marin, California area tried riding bikes off-road. Today, mountain biking is one of the most popular leisure sports in the world. However, it is a broad realm, encompassing various fields: competitive "cross country" (long endurance races and marathons), "downhill" (downhill competitions, in which competitors must traverse a course in the fastest possible time) and "free ride" (a field in which mountain bike riders jump and perform various acrobatic stunts). Israel's mountain bike league and the Israel Cycling Federation hold many competitions throughout the year.

שח 5.40: Skydiving
The history of skydiving is directly linked to man's wish to fly. Parachutes are mentioned in Chinese writings and in written works by Leonardo de Vinci, as well as being documented in other places around the world. The development of aviation accelerated the development of skydiving, which was adopted as an official sport by the U.S. Aviation Organization in 1948. In that same year, Leo Valentine developed improved techniques for controlling the body while falling, which came to serve as cornerstones of the field. Skydiving encompasses four main disciplines, according to which skydivers train and compete: Relative Work, Free Style, Sky Surfing and Free Flying. Israel's two skydiving clubs hold annual skydiving competitions.

שח 5.60: Surfing
Surfing originated among the Polynesian inhabitants of Hawaii who worshipped the sea and its power. Surfing was part of their religion. In 1910, Americans began to visit the islands and quickly caught "surfing fever". Surfboard design and production have progressed thanks to technological innovation and athletes have improved their techniques, thus creating more aggressive surfing. Surfing has gone from focusing on high waves to deeper "tube riding" (surfing inside hollow "tube" or "barrel" waves). The core of Israeli surfing began in the 1960's when a Jewish doctor named Dorian Paskowitz taught Tel Aviv's life guards to surf.

Comment: Because the high face value of this set, my friend added 2.20 NIS on the franking label to reach the 251g postal rate. He did a good job for this real posted FDC. Cheer!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Russia Pilot FDC

Russia FDC
The 100th Anniversary of Birth of Grigory Yakovlevich Bakhchivandzhi
Date of Issue: 16 February 2009

The chief test pilot of the BI program was Capt. Grigory Yakovlevich Bakhchivandzhi (Russian: Григорий Яковлевич Бахчиванджи; 20.02.1909 - 27.03.1943) - a pilot since 1933, credited with 5 air-to-air kills against Luftwaffe aircraft in 1941. Capt. Bakhchivandzhi was a test pilot of the Scientific Research Institute of the Soviet Air Force (NII VVS).

Additional flights of BI prototypes took place on 10 January 1943. The aircraft was piloted by Bakhchivandzhi and reached a maximum speed of 400 km/h at an altitude of 1110 m. Next flight took place on 10 February 1943, when a BI prototype, piloted by Gruzdev (later trained as a cosmonaut), reached a maximum speed of 675 km/h at an altitude of 2190 m. The BI was flown four more times in March of 1943 (on March 11, 14, 21, 27) by Capt. Bakhchivandzhi. During flights on March 11 and 14 the BI was tested at an altitude of 4000 m. On March 27, 1943 the BI-2 prototype reached a maximum speed of 990 km/h (unofficial world speed record) during a low-altitude flight. The aircraft crashed during landing.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Estonia General FDC

Estonia FDC
Name: 125th Anniversary of Birth of Gen. Johan Laidoner
Date of Issue: 12 February 2009

General Johan Laidoner (12 Feb. 1884 – 13 March 1953) Commander-in-Chief of the Estonian armed forces during the War of Independence Johan Laidoner was born in the Viiratsi commune, Viljandi County. He completed the course of a cadet school in Vilnius and of the Nicholas Military Academy in St. Petersburg. He served as staff officer in World War I and in the autumn of 1917 was asked to take the post of commander of the 1st Estonian division. In 1918 Laidoner was appointed commander-in-chief of the armed forces and was promoted to lieutenant general for his services in the War of Independence. He retired from military service after the war ended in 1920 and was Member of Parliament in 1920–29. In 1924 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the armed forces for six months to head suppression of the coup attempt of December 1, 1924. As member of the Estonian delegation he took part in assemblies of the League of Nations, and in the autumn of 1925 headed a special committee of the League of Nations in the Mosul area of Iraq. In 1932–33 he was deputy chairman of the land forces committee and head of the technical subcommittee at the Geneva disarmament conference. In 1934–40 he once again served as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and was promoted to general in 1939. After the Soviet occupation of Estonia he was deported to Penza in July 1940, was arrested in June 1941 and died in the Vladimir Prison in Russia.

Comment: As usual, Eesti Post used 2 special cancellations for this set. The other one was sent from Viljandi County, General Johan Laidoner's hometown. Thanks my friend!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Singapore Greetings FDC

Singapore FDC
Name: Greetings - Let's Celebrate
Date of Issue: 11 February 2009

"Greetings" stamps are functional stamps designed for use on special occasions to convey joyous messages of love, care and concern. In this latest "Greetings" stamp issue, the theme of "Celebration" was chosen. Beautifully captured in this delightful set of stamps were some of the gleeful expressions commonly seen at such occasions. There are many occasions that call for celebrations – birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, winning and election, newborn, promotion, graduation etc… and linked to these celebrations are wonderful and precious memories.

Comment: I don't know whether this issue used special cancellation. At least, my FDC hasn't special cancellation and the local postmark is not very well this time, what a pity!

Friday, March 13, 2009

United Nations Flowers FDC

United Nations FDC
Name: New Definitive stamps New York
Date of Issue: 06 February 2009

On 6 February 2009, the United Nations Postal Administration issued three New York definitive stamps to meet make-up postage rates.

Cielo rosado
9c: Rosa de sangre
10c: Espiritu de mujer

Comment: 1. It hasn't invisible U.N. emblem on these stamps; 2. I finally got the postmark from United Nations New York.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Taiwan Implements FDC

Taiwan FDC
Name: Implements from Early Taiwan – Ceremonial Objects
Date of Issue: 10 February 2008
Number: Sp.527

With many different ethnic groups and a complex history, Taiwan has long featured a great diversity of cultural practices engaged in by common people - a diversity demonstrated in every aspect of people's lives. To give people a sense of the industrious spirit, creativity and the self-sacrificing and frugal attitudes that characterized early settlers in Taiwan, this Post is issuing a set of four stamps on the topic of ceremonial objects from that era.

Gift Basket
During folk festivals, ceremonies and celebrations, all kinds of delectable treats were put in gift baskets that were offered to friends and relatives.

NT$5.00: Wooden Carrying Box
Wooden carrying boxes were used to carry betrothal gifts from the groom's family and the presents from the bride's family given in turn to the groom's family. The boxes were essential ceremonial objects for betrothals.

NT$12.00: Bridal Sedan Chair
Most of the bridal sedan chairs were painted mostly red, and decorated with paintings or embroideries of flowers, birds, and human figures.

NT$12.00: Candle Sticks
A pair of candle sticks - along with an incense burner and a pair of vases - was an essential item for an altar, whether at a temple or household ancestral shrine. Burning candles conveyed people's respect for the gods.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Estonia Battle FDC

Estonia FDC
Name: Paju Battle, 90th Anniversary
Date of Issue: 29 January 2009

The battle against Red Latvian Riflemen for the Paju Manor near Valga in southern Estonia on 31 January 1919 was the most sanguinary encounter in the early stages in the Estonian War of Independence. On 30 January the partisan unit headed by Julius Kuperjanov occupied the manor along with the Tõlliste Stage. But during the night the manor again passed into the hands of the Reds. In a battle that lasted the whole following day Finnish volunteers together with the partisans managed to finally gain possession of the manor at the heavy toll of 42 men dead and 113 wounded. On 1 February the partisans and the Finns marched into Valga without meeting any resistance as the enemy had withdrawn from the Estonian-Latvian border town. This meant establishment of control over an important railway junction and pushing the front outside Estonian borders. In the Paju Battle the soldiers displayed death-defying courage against overwhelming enemy forces. Julius Kuperjanov, the head of the partisan unit, along with the other wounded, was taken to a hospital in Tartu where he died of wounds on 2 February 1919. A memorial was erected on the Paju Battlefield in 1994.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Russia Mendeleev FDC

Russia FDC
The 175th Anniversary of Birth of Dmitri Mendeleev
Date of Issue: 06 February 2009

Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev (sometimes spelled Mendeleyev or Mendeleef; Russian: Дми́трий Ива́нович Менделе́ев) (8 February [O.S. 27 January] 1834 – 2 February [O.S. 20 January] 1907), was a Russian chemist and inventor. He is credited as being the creator of the first version of the periodic table of elements. Using the table, he predicted the properties of elements yet to be discovered. More...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

United Nations Thant FDC

United Nations FDC
Name: 100th Anniversary U Thant
Date of Issue: 06 February 2009

The year 2009 marks the centenary of the birth of U Thant, who served as Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1961 to 1971. He was selected to head the world body when Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld was killed in an air crash in September 1961.

U Thant was born at Pantanaw, Myanmar (formerly called Burma), on 22 January 1909, and was educated at the National High School in Pantanaw and at University College Yangon (formerly called Rangoon). Prior to his diplomatic career, U Thant’s experience was in education and information work.

At the time of his appointment as Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations, U Thant had been Permanent Representative of Burma to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador (1957-1961). During that period, he headed the Burmese delegations to the sessions of the General Assembly, and in 1959, he served as one of the Vice-Presidents of the Assembly’s fourteenth session. In 1961, U Thant was Chairman of the United Nations Congo Conciliation Commission and Chairman of the Committee on a United Nations Capital Development Fund. During his diplomatic career, U Thant served on several occasions as Adviser to Prime Ministers of Burma.

U Thant began serving as Acting Secretary-General on 3 November 1961, when he was unanimously appointed by the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Security Council, to fill the unexpired term of the late Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjöld. He was then unanimously appointed Secretary-General by the General Assembly on 30 November 1962 for a term of office ending on 3 November 1966.

U Thant was re-appointed for a second term as Secretary-General of the United Nations by the General Assembly on 2 December 1966 on the unanimous recommendation of the Security Council (resolution 229, 1966). His term of office continued until 31 December 1971.

U Thant retired at the end of his second term in 1971 and he died on 25 November 1974 after a long illness. He was 65 years old.

Comment: This is my first real posted FDC from United Nation. This stamp embellished with gold foiling, if you use UV light, you can see an invisible U.N. emblem on this stamp. I don't know whether this invisible emblem always appears on U.N. stamp.

Poland Love FDC

Poland FDC
Name: I Love You
Date of Issue: 06 February 2009

Valentine's Day in Europe
This day originates from the feast of St. Valentine, the bishop of Terni - a town in Italy located near Rome. According to a legend, the bishop Valentine blessed the bond between a heathen legionnaire and a young Christian woman. Since such relationships were strictly forbidden by the emperor, he was locked up in a dungeon and subjected to torture. He died a martyr's death on 14 February around the year 270 AD. Incidentally, it was also the day on which Rome celebrated a feast of harvest and marriage vows. Since the year 900 AD, this heathen feast has been celebrated as a day of love oaths and promises of friendship, and dedicated to St. Valentine. Presently, on 14 February marriages and engaged couples gather in Terni, where the main basilica of St. Valentine is located, in order to renew their pledges of love.

Valentine's Day across the ocean
Valentine's Day gained its present setting, which is very different from its European original characterised by a blend of joy and solemnity, in the United States of America. Americans are the leaders in commerce, and nobody can match their skills in this area. The scope of the feast has been extended (presently it's generally a feast of love) and it has been added with various gadgets, such as hearts, flowers, pigeons, balloons, lollypops in the colour red - symbolising love, and so on. The most significant thing, however, is sending valentines, i.e. special postcards with sentences printed on them, such as for example "Be my Valentine." It is now increasingly popular to send valentines to all the people we like, or who are close to us. Such messages are quite frequently left unsigned, leaving it to the recipient to figure out who the confession of love or expression of liking came from. Valentine's Day customs migrated across the ocean and came to Europe. One might say that this small, local feast was transformed overseas and, after its return, gained popularity in most of the countries of the old continent. It became a feast of love and joy.

Chełmno - the town of love
For Polish people, the town of Chełmno, known as the town of love, means as much as Terni for the Italians. The local Church of the Assumption houses a baroque side altar dedicated to St. Valentine, and one of his relics, famous for its miraculous properties. Apart from a ceremonial mass, on 14 February various occasional concerts, games and competitions take place, and in the evening a huge heart made up of lanterns is lit. Moreover, heart-shaped baked rolls with added lovage are a local specialty.

It's worth knowing that...
In the Polish language the word 'walentynka' (Valentine), meaning the feast, the special postcard, and also a beloved person, is spelled with no capital letter, in the same way as the words 'mikołajki' (St. Nicolas' Day) or 'andrzejki' (St. Andrew's Eve). That is because it belongs to the category of common nouns, constituting names of popular customs or celebrations.

New stamp and First Day Cover (FDC)
In order to commemorate St. Valentine's Day, Poczta Polska presents for the fifteenth time a special postage stamp which features the symbol of good fortune and luck - a four leaf clover. Its leaves are presented as hearts, one of which - the unique, pink one, is there just for you! The FDC, apart from the clover, also features a citation from George Sand (1804-1876), a French writer of the Romanticism period who was desperately in love with Chopin (1810-1849): "There is only one kind of true fortune in life - it is to love, and to be loved back." The FDC also features an occasional date stamp, in use in Chełmno 1 Post Office. On account of the issue, numerous Valentine's Day events take place in the town of Chełmno, and Poczta Polska actively participates in them through organising, among others, a philatelic exhibition featuring all the stamps in the "I love you" series, published since 1992.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thailand Rose FDC

Thailand FDC
Name: Rose
Date of Issue: 06 February 2009
Number: 865

Purpose: To promote philatelic activities.

Designs: Illustrates a wonderful pure white rose.

Comment: This is a perfumed stamp, the smell makes me happy.

Thailand Rose Series FDCs:
2008; 2009.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Malaysia Sultan FDC

Malaysia FDC
Name: Silver Jubilee of the Reign of His Royal Highness Paduka Seri Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Sultan Perak Darul Ridzuan
Date of Issue: 08 February 2009

Raja Azlan Shah, the youngest prince of the late Almarhum Sultan Yussuf Izzuddin Shah and Toh Puan Besar Hatijah was born in Kampung Manggis, Batu Gajah, Perak on 19 April 1928. His Royal Highness received his early education at Sekolah Melayu Batu Gajah, and subsequently entered English School Batu Gajah. His Royal Highness continued Sixth Form education at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar.

His Royal Highness Raja Azlan Shah received his Bachelor's Degree in Law from the University of Nottingham in 1953 and a year later on 23 November 1954 was admitted to the Barrister-at-Law at Lincoln's Inn United Kingdom.

His Royal Highness started his career in the legal service as a Magistrate, followed by as a Session Court President, Federal Senior Lawyer, Deputy Public Prosecutor, Legal Advisor to the State of Pahng and Johor, Chief Registrar of High Court and Federal Court of Malaysia, and at the age of 37, he was appointed as the High Court Judge. On 7 November 1982, His Royal Highness reaches the peak of his career in the National legal service when he was sworn in as the Lord President of the Federal Court of Malaysia at the age of 52.

Besides giving full attention in the judiciary and legal duties, His Royal Highness had also played an active role in the national education scene. He was given the honour to be the Chairman of the Higher Education Advisory Council in 1974, and as the Pro-Chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia from 1971 until 1984. on 12 May 1986 His Royal Highness was presented with a letter of appointment as the Chancellor of the University of Malaya, the post that he held until today.

His Royal Highness was a sport enthusiast of a highest caliber, he lead the Asiar, Hockey Federation and was also appointed as the Vice President of the International Hockey Federation.

In the Perak Royal Institution, His Royal Highness was proclaimed as the Raja Kecil Bongsu on 19 August 1962, the Raja Kecil Tengah on 1 February 1963, Raja Kecil Sulong on 1 January 1978 and Raja Kecil Besar on 1 August 1978 before being proclaimed as the Raja Muda of Perak (Crown Prince) on 1 July 1983. On 3 February 1984, His Royal Highness was proclaimed as the 34th Sultan of Perak followed by the official installation which took place on 9 December 1985.

The Conference of rulers at its 146th meeting on 2 March 1989, elected His Royal Highness as the 9th Yang di-Pertuan Agong. He served the full five year term from 29 April 1989 to 25 April 1994.

Today, on 3 February 2009, marks the Silver Jubilee of the Reign of His Royal Highness, Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah and Duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja Permaisuri Tuanku Bainun, who rules the State of Perak in peace and harmony.


The stamp depicts the portrait of His Royal Highness during his installation as the 34th Sultan of Perak on 9 December 1985 at the Balairong Seri of Istana Iskandariah. Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar Perak. The visual at the background shows His Royal Highness kissing the ceremonial sword. Pedang Cura Si Manja Kini and this symbolized the regal splendour of the ceremony.

The stamp portrays His Royal Highness Paduka Seri Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah as the Head of State and the Head of the State Islamic Religion and Custom (Ketua Agama Islam dan Adat Istiadat). The background features the grand and majestic architecture of Ubudiah mosque which was once proclaimed as the most beautiful design ever being built during its time. It was officially opened in 1917 by Sultan Abdul Jalil Karamatullah Shah. The Ubudiah mosque is certainly one of the many pride possessions of the state as over the years it has proven to be one of the main tourist attractions.

The stamp depicts His Royal Highness who has reigned the state of Perak for the past 25 years. Throughout his reign the Raja Permaisuri Perak, Tuanku Bainun has evidently been a strong and loyal companion as often reflected in their constant appearances together. Both His and Her Royal Highness represent the nation's sacred belief in family unity. The royal yellow background symbolizes the nobility of the much loved Royal Highnesses.

Comment: What a long set name. This is the longest set name I have seen.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Portugal Euro FDC

Portugal FDC
Name: 10th Anniversary of the Euro
Date of Issue: 28 January 2009

1 January 2009 will mark the 10th anniversary of the creation of the euro, one of the most significant landmarks of the European project and modern history.

In effect, the third stage of Economic and Monetary Union, set out by the Treaty on European Union, started on 1 January 1999 with the introduction of the euro and the conduct of a single monetary policy and exchange rate policy, under the Eurosystem (which is formed by the European Central Bank and the national central banks of euro area Member States, including Banco de Portugal).

On such date, Portugal and a further ten Member States – Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Finland – met the conditions for adopting the euro. The euro area currently consists of sixteen countries, following the entry of Greece (1 January 2001), Slovenia (1 January 2007), Cyprus and Malta (1 January 2008) and Slovakia (1 January 2009).

However, the euro only became visible to citizens from 1 January 2002, when euro banknotes and coins entered into circulation.

The euro has come to represent an important step in the long European integration process since the European Economic Community was established in 1957. The single currency has provided a backdrop for the stability and progress of citizens and the economies of participating countries. Around 320 million citizens of the euro area benefit daily from a currency that has also become an international reference.

On celebrating the 10th anniversary of the euro as a symbol of European identity and as a factor of integration and development, this set of stamps also celebrates the joint effort of European Union countries to ensure the peace and prosperity of the European continent.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

India Heritage FDC

India FDC
Name: Heritage Monuments Preservation By INTACH
Date of Issue: 28 January 2009

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage or INTACH, is an autonomous non-governmental Indian NGO that seeks to preserve Indian Art and Cultural heritage. In 2007, United Nations awarded INTACH with a special consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council. More...

Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer Fort is a monument worth visiting and worth retaining in your conscious mind. Like various other cities of Rajasthan, in Jaisalmer too you will find different facets of its own glorious heritage. Though you can find historical monuments scattered all over the city, the Jaisalmer Fort will immediately command your attention. Made of sand stones and locally known as Sonar Quila, the Jaisalmer Fort is a dominating structure amidst sands. The city is said to be founded by one Raja Rawal Jaisal, a Bhatti Rajput ruler, in approximately 1156 A D. Legends go by that he did it on the behest of a local hermit named Eesaal. The raja choose Trikuta hill as the new site for his fort as his earlier adobe at Luderwa(16 k.m from present Jaisalmer) was too vulnerable to his comfort. But it should always be kept in mind that these legends are most of the time product of conscious minds that are very vulnerable to the oriental exaggeration. Jaisalmer fort is the second oldest in Rajasthan. Two hundred and fifty feet tall and reinforced by imposing crenellated sandstone wall 30 feet high; it has 99 bastions, 92 of which were built between 1633 and 1647. Wells within the fort still provide a regular source of water. Even today, you will find that nearly one fourth of the old city's population resides within the fort. If you are a student of cross-cultural merging, the subtle fusion of Rajput and Islamic architectural styles, visible in this fort, will catch your fancy. Ganesh Pol, Akshya Pol, Suraj Pol and Hawa Pol are a must see.

500: Mongyu Monastery, Laddakh
A Buddhist monastery is meant to be the main center for worship, isolated meditation and religion teaching. Monasteries are also one of the major attractions of the tourists visiting the beautiful valley of Ladakh. People come to Ladakh either to enjoy its scenic beauty or visit its monasteries or both. The entire valley of Ladakh is dotted with monasteries of all kinds, belonging to various orders or schools of Buddhism. Almost all these monasteries are sited at scenic locales, enhancing their magnificence further. Also, they boast of a rich collection of Buddhist relics like thankas, murals, sculptures, scriptures, etc. Typically, the monasteries in Ladakh have been located at isolated areas, away from the hustle bustle of the routine life. This lends an air of peace and tranquility to them. In this section, we have provided information about almost each and every Buddhist monastery of Leh Ladakh, India

500: Saint Anne Church, Goa
The Church of St. Anne is a religious monument located in Santana, Goa, India. It is an example of baroque architecture.

Majestically nestled in the verdant hills of Santana, Talaulim, the Church of Anne was declared a "national monument" during the Portuguese era per Government Portario No. 1360 of 31/3/31. In that Portario – studded like priceless diamonds – were also the Bom Jesus Basilica, the Se Cathedral, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the Convent of Santa Monica and the Church of St. Cajetan. Each of these, monumental in their architectural splendor, and all of them huddled in the former Portuguese capital of Old Goa, Goa.

Upon Goa's annexation by India, while the aforementioned edifices were embraced as "national monuments" by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and effectively taken over, the church of St. Anne was singularly overlooked and remains forsaken to this day to the ravages of time and human neglect, the glaring fact notwithstanding -- it is by far the most exquisite and the largest surviving monument of its kind in all of Asia. The church of St. Anne continues to remain largely forsaken to the ravages of time and human neglect. Today, parts of the structure remain in a precarious condition.

Construction of the Church of St. Anne began in 1577 by Monsignor Francisco de Rego (1681-1689) and its completion in 1695 fell upon the shoulders of his successor, Rev. Fr. Antonio Francisco da Cunha.

Legend has it that while construction was in progress, an elderly villager by the name of Bartholomeu Marchon, had a vision of an old lady donning a hat with a staff in hand. The old lady ambled down the neighboring hill and promulgated to Bartholomeu that the Church under construction was her home, and that it was her intent to reside there. A similar apparition was also encountered by a Brahmin lady of high social standing, who happened to be gravely ill and almost in death’s clutch. The celestial apparition anointed the lady with a miraculous cure and as a token of supreme gratitude, she embraced Christianity. Word of her miraculous cure percolated down to the village priest who instantly interpreted it as a sign of divine intervention, and without further ado, consecrated the church in honor of St. Anne.

High up in the transept facing the sanctuary, one can see a relief picture depicting the scene of St. Anne with a staff in hand and wearing a hat as seen in the apparitions.

500: Qila Mubarak, Patiala
The Qila Mubarak complex stands in 10-acre ground in the heart of the city Patiala, and contains the main palace or Qila Androon (literally,'inner fort'), the guesthouse or Ran Baas and the Darbar Hall. Outside the Qila are the Darshani Gate, a Shiva temple, and bazaar shops which border the streets that run around the Qila and sell precious ornaments, colorful hand-woven fabrics, 'jootis' and bright 'Parandis'.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Russia Painter FDC

Russia FDC
The 175th Anniversary of birth of V.G. Perov
Date of Issue: 28 January 2009

9.00 (right):
Self-portrait, 1851 (Kiev Museum of Russian Art)
9.00 (left): Tea Drinking in Mytishchi, near Moscow, 1862 (The State Tretyakov Gallery)

Vasily Grigorevich Perov (Russian: Василий Григорьевич Перов) (real name Vasily Grigorevich Kridener) (January 2, 1834 (December 21 1833 Old Style) - June 10 (May 29 Old Style) 1882) was a Russian painter and one of the founding members of Peredvizhniki, a group of Russian realist painters. More...

Comment: I don't know Russian, whether "Перова" means "Перов"? The stamps use "Перов", but the special cancellation uses "Перова". Why?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Russia Naval Museum FDC

Russia FDC
The 300th Anniversary of Foundation of the Central Naval Museum
Date of Issue: 22 January 2009

The museum started as a model-chamber built to the instructions of Peter the Great in 1709. It is one of the oldest museums in the world, with two thousand unique models of ships, many of which are notable for their artistic worth. The museum has a rich collection of different works of fine arts, as well as a large collection of paintings, photographs, uniforms, flags and banners contains, many of which are extremely rare.

The pride of the museum has to be the boat of Peter the Great, known as the "Grandfather of the Russian Navy". It was on this very boat that Peter learned to sail as a teenager and acquired his fascination for the sea, sea faring and shipbuilding. This fascination later prompted Peter the Great to found the Russian navy. If you are interested in military and naval memorabilia, this is THE place to go!

The museum is located on the eastern tip of Vasilyevsky Island, in the impressive white, pillared building of the former Stock Exchange. The building, inspired by the best examples of ancient Greek and Roman architecture, was constructed by the architect Thomas de Tomon between 1805 and 1810. Back in the late 18th - early 19th century this part of Vasilyevsky Island was still a seaport, and visitors can see high up on the portico of the Stock Exchange building an imposing statue of Neptune, the ancient God of the Sea. Two Rostral Columns, monuments to Russia's many naval victories, flank the modern home of the Naval Museum.

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