China issues two new stamps to celebrate the Year of the Monkey
This year's Chinese New Year starts on February 8, as according to the lunar calendar that's been in place since ancient times. To celebrate the auspicious occasion, China has issued two stamps that carry special meanings for this year.
In the first stamp, a happy monkey is holding a longevity peach, called Shou Tao, to symbolize long life with fortune. The longevity peach is actually a bun made with fruit fillings to represent the Peaches of Immortality. According to Chinese folk legends, these peaches ripen every thousands of years and grant immortality to humans who consume the peaches. At birthday parties of temples, you'll often see buns made with lotus seed fillings and dyed red to symbolize the longevity peaches.
The second stamp carries an extra meaning this year because China has abandoned its one-child policy. Due to a declining birth rate and an aging population, China has adopted the two-child policy to encourage more births and prevent a shortage of future workers. Therefore, you see a monkey with 2 babies in this stamp.
If you are born in the Year of the Monkey, such as 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, you're intelligent, charming, honest, and generous, but may possess too quick a temper.
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