French post office, La Poste, on Saturday issued two stamps to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rabbit, which starts on Jan. 22.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Chinese ambassador to France Lu Shaye said that 2023 is the year of the Rabbit, and the rabbit is an animal of incredible cuteness, well-behaved, gentle and quick-witted.
The rabbit represents the positive energy of the Chinese people who can overcome difficulties and improve themselves, Lu noted, adding that the Sino-French relations will surely write a new chapter and make rapid progress in the new year.
It has been 19 years since La Poste issued its first Chinese zodiac stamps, Philippe Wahl, president and chief executive officer of La Poste said.
Wahl said that by issuing Chinese zodiac stamps to celebrate the Chinese New Year, La Poste was paying sincere tribute to the Chinese culture.
Featuring a crouching rabbit on a pink background, one stamp applies to the domestic mail service in France with a face value of 1.16 euro (1.26 U.S. dollar). The other, a rabbit looking up on the background of the moon, applies to the international mail service with a denomination of 1.8 euro.
The stamps, designed by Chinese artist Chen Jianghong, are marked with "The Year of The Rabbit" characters in both Chinese and French.
Since 2005, the French post office has been celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year each year by issuing stamps featuring the year's zodiac animal.
The twelve animals, representing the Chinese Zodiac to record the years and reflect people's attributes, are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. (1 euro = 1.08 U.S. dollar)