We are proud to introduce the first set of triangular stamps issued by Isle of Man Post Office in celebration of one of the most widely celebrated annual festivals in the world. Designed by Manx artist Jay Cover, this historic issue is a reminder of the power of stamps to serve as tribute to both historical events and the history of philately.
In addition to our main character, two other animals feature in the set that are strongly associated with the Ox: the Rooster is the most compatible sign with the Ox while, most famously, the Rat was carried by the Ox to the finish line of the mythological Emperor’s race of the zodiac signs race - only to hop off at the last moment and become the first sign in Chinese cosmology.
The Ox is the second animal represented in the twelve year Lunar cycle beginning on 12th February 2021, other Ox years being 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 and 2009.
When designing the issue, our Manx designer Jay Cover gave careful consideration to the colour scheme, and the result is a prominent use of red which has positive and auspicious symbolic resonance in Chinese mythology along with the use of gold metallic ink as usual for Chinese celebration.
The stamps are,the first triangular stamps to be issued by any of the British postal administrations, with the shape used to beautifully emphasise the features of the Ox.