Christmas Island 2000 Year of the Dragon
From Stamps of the World
- Date of Issue : 13 January 2000
- Designed by: Luis Chiang
- Printed by: SNP Ausprint
- Printing Process : Offset lithography, six colour hexachrome with gold foil
- Perforations : 14 x 14½
- Dimensions: 37.5 mm x 26 mm
- Format: sheets of 50 (two panes of 25 separated by decorative gutter)
- Withdrawn: 31 January 2001
The 2000 Christmas Island Lunar New Year miniature sheet celebrated the Year of the Dragon, which started on 5 February 2000. The dragon, the fifth creature in the Chinese zodiac, is one of China's most complex symbols. Unlike the dragon of the west, the Chinese dragon is a good-natured and benign creature. Dragons come in all shapes and sizes but are generally portrayed with a serpentine body plus feet, claws and scales.
The dragon is one of the four creatures of the world directions. It stands in the east, the region of sunrise, fertility, spring rains and rain in general. It is a magic animal, able to shrink in size or to swell until it fills the space between heaven and earth. The dragon can be visible or invisible as it chooses. In spring the dragon ascends to the skies. In autumn it buries itself in the watery depths. The dragon is often pictured playing in the rain clouds with a ball or a pearl.
There are different types of dragon: the celestial dragon which guards and supports the mansions of the gods; the spirit dragon which causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall for the benefit of mankind; the earth dragon, which rules over springs and water courses; and a dragon which watches over the wealth concealed from mortals' eyes.
People born in the Year of the Dragon are said to be proud and lively with a tremendous amount of self-confidence. They are held to be intelligent and quick to take advantage of opportunities and are usually outgoing. Although energetic and hard-working, they can also be impulsive and impatient.
The decorative gutter consists of the 12 Lunar Year animals printed in gold foil.
- Dimensions: 106 mm x 70 mm
First Day Covers
The first day of issue postmark was Christmas Island AUS 6798.