Celebrates Lunar New Year with Year of the Ox Stamps


Postal administrations across the world have started issuing Lunar New Year stamps for 2021. The Year of the Ox begins February 12, 2021, and ends on January 31, 2022. Issuing countries include Aland, Armenia, Canada, China, Christmas Island, Great Britain, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, and Vietnam.

In 2021, the U.S Postal Service issues the second of 12 stamps in the newest series of Lunar New Year stamps. With pops of the very lucky color red on the horns and face, the ox mask in the stamp design incorporates elements with symbolic meaning. Several of the patterns were created with the style of Asian textiles in mind as well as purple flowers that represent the arrival of spring, which Lunar New Year also signals in Chinese culture. The star in the center of the ox’s head references the celestial themes of the Chinese zodiac.

The ox is the second of the 12 zodiac animal signs associated with the Chinese lunar calendar. Many ancient fables and legends explain the origin of the zodiac signs. The most common story tells of the animals racing across a river to determine their order in the cycle. The rat crossed by riding on the back of the ox, jumping ahead at the last minute to win the race, with the ox coming in second place.

As with other zodiac signs, personality traits and other attributes are often associated with people born in the year of a particular animal. Those born during the Year of the Ox may be seen as honest, diligent, and highly dependable. In Chinese tradition, five elements—wood, fire, earth, metal (or gold), and water—also cycle in accordance with the lunar calendar and are associated with the year’s animal sign. In 2021, the Lunar New Year will mark the beginning of the Year of the Gold Ox.

Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays of the year for many Asian communities around the world and is primarily celebrated by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan, Mongolian, Malaysian, and Filipino heritage. Across these varied cultures, many traditions exist for ringing in a new year of good luck and prosperity. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp with original art by Camille Chew.

The Year of the Ox stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. This Forever® stamp will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce price.

Year of the Ox Stamps in the World

Year of the Ox Stamps – China 

Beginning in 1980, China Post has been issuing specially designed Chinese zodiac year stamps featuring each of the 12 zodiac animals, to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This year the stamps were drawn by Yao Zhonghua, who does oil painting, classical Chinese painting and gouache.  

The stamps express the cultural implications of the ox deeply rooted in the hearts of ordinary Chinese: hardworking, persistent, practical and devoted. 

China Post often commissions artists like Yao to design stamps. Yao is known for using a strong color palette to depict the landscapes of his native Yunnan province.

Year of the Ox Stamps – Japan

Year of the Ox Stamps – Thailand

Thailand Year of the Ox stamp Illustration is the Royal hand sketch by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
Stamp Designer: Mr. Udorn Niyomthum (Thailand Post Company Limited).

Year of the Ox Stamps – Korea

KoreaPost issued a set of 2 stamps for New Year 2021. This particular stamp series is an annual event, a tradition which KoreaPost has maintained for many decades now.

Just like last year KoreaPost released the New Year stamps in both a commemorative (souvenir) stamp sheet of 2 stamps of 380 won each and a larger sheet of 16 stamps (4×4) of 380 won each, printed by Royal Joh.

This commemorative stamp for the New Year is issued in two versions: one depicts a winking calf bearing good fortune with a lucky bag on its back and showing a gentle smile; and the other holographic version portrays a mother cow and calf facing each other and smiling together, expressing heartwarming maternal love and abundance. With this commemorative stamp, we hope 2021 can be a year where you can relax and spend valuable time with your loved ones.

Year of the Ox Stamps – Taiwan

Chunghwa Post will mark the Year of the Ox with a set of two stamps and a souvenir sheet aptly themed “turning the situation around.”

The images on the stamps are inspired by the art of paper cutting, with an ox turning its head. As in Mandarin Chinese “turning” (扭) is a homonym for ox or cow (牛), the design symbolizes the concept of “turning things around” and “turning one’s luck for the better.”

The images reflect the hope that during the Year of the Ox, people can “avert disaster, overcome obstacles, and attain financial success

Year of the Ox Stamps – Canada

Canada stamp

The culmination of more than a decade of award-winning stamps, this retrospective brings together in a single issue all the stamps from our most recent Lunar New Year series. The exquisite stamps, issued from 2009 to 2020, were part of one of Canada Post’s most popular and longest-running series, which featured such elaborate techniques as gold and silver foiling and multi-level embossing.

Brought together by Paprika from Montréal, these eye-catching stamps feature the work of the many design firms and designers who contributed to the series over the years. The result is a unique collectible that is a fitting tribute to Lunar New Year celebrations everywhere.

Year of the Ox Stamps – Philippines

Year of the Ox Stamps – Hong Kong

Hongkong Post presents the tenth issue in the fourth Lunar New Year special stamp series, featuring a set of four stamps and a stamp sheetlet depicting the Ox in diversified art forms. 

Year of the Ox Stamps – Vietnam

Vietnam stamps

MNH Specimen stamps & sheetlet issued on 12th of Dec 2020 by Vietnam Stamp Company. 

Year of the Ox Stamps – New Zealand

Year of the Ox Stamps – Australia Christmas Island

The Year of the Ox 2021 postal numismatic cover is highly collectable, featuring a pictorial envelope with the $1.10 & $3.30 stamps from the Christmas Island: Year of the Ox 2021 stamp issue and a coin from the Perth Mint. The stamps are postmarked – First day of issue | 8 January 2021 | Christmas Island WA 6798

The Christmas Island: Year of the Ox 2021 minisheet consists of the three stamps from the issue displayed differently from the gummed stamps incorporated into a miniature stamp sheet.

Year of the Ox Stamps – Singapore

This year’s SingPost Year of the Ox stamps will feature two graphical illustrations of an ox by Ms Lim An-Ling, an artist who previously designed the 2020 Year of the Rat and 2019 Singapore Bicentennial stamp sets.

The set of mint stamps has two denominations, 1st Local (S$0.30) and S$1.40. A Pre-cancelled First Day Cover with the stamps and a special zodiac ox postmark will be priced at S$3.10 while a presentation pack with both stamps will be sold for S$4.15.

Year of the Ox Stamps – Philately Liechtenstein

For the tenth time in a row, Philately Liechtenstein is issuing a stamp at the end of the year with a motif from the Chinese zodiac, of which the sign in the coming year will be the ox. The Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first new moon between 21 January and 21 February and is the most important Chinese holiday. Traditionally it is celebrated with many ancient customs. For example, people open their windows and doors on this day to let happiness in. The self-adhesive special stamp “Year of the Ox” (face value: CHF 2.00) was once again this year designed in the form of a filigree silhouette and produced using state-of-the-art laser technology. The sheet combines four stamps and is punched out in the shape of an ox. Gold foil stamping gives it a classy touch. In the Chinese horoscope, the ox (also known as a buffalo) is attributed with qualities such as diligence, reliability, strength and determination. According to the description, it is sincere and likes to take on responsibility. In contrast to this, however, it can also be stubborn, selfish, reserved and distrustful.

Year of the Ox Stamps – Isle of Man

Isle of Man Lunar New Year stamp

Isle of Man Post Office celebrates the Chinese New Year with a set of four stamps designed by Manx illustrator and artist Jay Cover. The four stamps valued at 62p, £1.58, £2.44 and £3.22 are the first triangular stamps from any of the British postal administrations (Royal Mail, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man).

Year of the Ox Stamps – Jersey

Jersey stamp
Jersey stamp

The Year of the Ox is the subject of Jersey Post’s first stamp issue of 2021, to be released on Tuesday 5 January. Illustrated by Wang Huming in Beijing, China, the issue comprises a single stamp and a miniature sheet and forms the sixth part in Jersey Post’s series celebrating the Lunar New Year.

The image on the 54p stamp symbolises prosperity. The golden bull, with its head raised upwards, represents a longing for a prosperous future, while its hoof, tightly buckled downwards, indicates a down to earth attitude. In the background of the stamp, on the upper right corner, is the Chinese character for ox; the strokes of the character look like the horns of an ox.

The miniature sheet depicts ‘the old cow licking her calf’. In Chinese culture, this is the embodiment of parental love, and represents a warm and happy family atmosphere. The mother cow and calf look towards each other, indicating affection and a harmonious family balance.

Year of the Ox Stamps – Great Britain Lunar

Great Britain Lunar New Year sheetlet 2021

Year of the Ox Stamps – Guernsey

Guernsey stamp