Hongkong Post today (January 12) announced that a set of special stamps entitled "Year of the Snake" will be released for sale with associated philatelic products on January 26 (Saturday).
The use of animals to mark the 12 components of the Lunar New Year cycle is a long-held tradition in China. Frequently used as the theme for Chinese arts and crafts since ancient times, the 12 Chinese zodiac animals have profound significance in Chinese folk handicrafts. 2013 sees the arrival of the Year of the Snake. This issue is the second Lunar New Year special stamp issue in the fourth series released by Hongkong Post. The special stamps use different types of traditional Chinese arts and crafts to signify the theme of the Year of the Snake. A silk stamp sheetlet is also being released for the occasion, making the sheetlet a precious gift for relatives and friends in the Lunar New Year. Moreover, Hongkong Post is launching a new series of "Gold and Silver Stamp Sheetlet on Lunar New Year Animals - Dragon/Snake" to celebrate the Spring Festival. Different from the last series, the dragon stamp is hot-foiled with silver while the snake stamp is affixed with the first-ever 22K gold-plated lace metal, making this a prestigious and valuable collectible that cannot be missed.
Official First Day Covers for the "Year of the Snake" Special Stamps and Official Souvenir Covers for the "Gold and Silver Stamp Sheetlet on Lunar New Year Animals - Dragon/Snake" will be put on sale at $1.20 each at all post offices from January 12. Official First Day Covers (Prestige Version) for the "Year of the Snake" Special Stamps and Official Souvenir Covers (Prestige Version) for the "Gold and Silver Stamp Sheetlet on Lunar New Year Animals - Dragon/Snake" will also be available at $8 each at all philatelic offices. These items will be displayed at the General Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office, Tsuen Wan Post Office and Sha Tin Central Post Office on the same day. Advance orders for servicing self-provided covers will be accepted at all philatelic offices from January 12 to 18.
While the General Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office and Airport Post Office will maintain their normal full-day operating hours, the other post offices (except mobile post offices) will extend their business hours to 5pm on January 26.
Information about this special stamp issue and associated philatelic products is available on Hongkong Post's website at www.hongkongpost.hk and the Hongkong Post Mobile App.