Canada Post issues dragon stamps for Chinese Lunar New Year

Last year, Canada Post sold out of its Year of the Rabbit stamps.

Yesterday, Year of the Dragon stamps went on sale — the fourth in the Chinese Lunar New Year series. The stamps, each featuring a gold-embossed dragon against a red background, are expected to sell out within two weeks.

"Lunar New Year is celebrated around the world, in countries and territories with significant Chinese communities. Canada Post is proud to celebrate the occasion by issuing these popular stamps," Jim Phillips, Director of Stamp Services at Canada Post, said in a press release.

Collectors and members of the Chinese community lined up at the Toronto Canada Post outlet at the Atrium on Bay to meet the Toronto-based designer of the stamps. Artist Louis Fishauf, who autographed postmarked first-day envelopes for fans of his work, spent two years working on the design. Calligrapher James Tan also signed stamps for collectors.

In total, 5.25 million domestic stamps and 500,000 international stamps are being issued.

"The stamps are designed to celebrate our country, our history, our heroes and our leading personalities and the achievements and passions of our people," Greg Kabatoff, Canada Post's director of retails sales for Western Canada, told Xinhua.

The Year of the Dragon stamps are available in several formats, including souvenir sheets. The Chinese Lunar New Series also includes greeting cards and coins.

2012's lunar Chinese New Year occurs on January 23rd. A dragon year is said "to be a time of innovation, risk and achievement."