Friday, March 14, 2014

The Year of Horse - when Japanese postcards meet Hong Kong stamps

resulting in these maximum cards.. :-)
The first one is the best I have made this year, the postcard is a new year greeting card from Japan. It is called 年贺状, very important in Japanese culture, every one will prepare some for their relatives and friends and the postman is always busy delivering them at the first day of the new year. On 11th Jan 2014, when Hong Kong Post issued the year of horse stamps, I use one of them and the special postmark to make the maximum cards. The stamp valued HK$1.7 features a pony made of colorful floral patchwork fabric, which is a traditional Chinese handicraft art putting paper-cutting, embroidery and craftsmanship together. Many thanks to Ai from Kyoto for providing me the card!
The second one is also a 年贺状. Japanese items are always delicate, I have to say. Actually this one is a stamped and written card sent by Akiko(明子) from Kitakyushu city. The stamp is one of those dedicated for the year of horse by Japan Post and it features a calligraphy of Chinese character "Horse", very nice and impressive , also with embossing effect (so does the postcard itself). I had a difficulty when requesting the post office for a special postmark because they said there is already a postmark of Japan post on the backside so they are not able to put additional one of Hong Kong on the front side. I have nothing to say but Hong Kong Post have some strange even incomprehensible postal rules. Lucky, finally I got it with the aid of a friend who is very familiar with the staffs of post office. :D Many thanks to Akiko!

Hong Kong Post does a very good job in making money by the chance of issuing new year stamps. You can see below that they issued 4 stamps and 1 mini-sheet also very expensive silk(HK$50) and gold/silver sheets (HK$100). There have many associated  philatelic products on sales too such as different kinds of FDCs, greetings cards and packs. They does have market because people love these items. In general, all of these were sold out at the first day of issue except the expensive sheets.

At the issuing days, all post offices in Hong Kong (more than 120) offer special postmark cancellation service, they also offer other kinds of postmarks, if available.