The Chinese zodiac is a popular topic for stamps, especially around the Chinese New Year. So this souvenir sheet from Hong Kong is an interesting switch: the signs of the astrological western zodiac.
There are 12 signs in the western zodiac, just like the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. But whereas one animal of the Chinese zodiac represents one year, one sign in the western zodiac represents one month, more or less. The western zodiac is based on constellations, but the Chinese zodiac is not.
Each stamp features an illustration of the sign it represents, and the corresponding constellation is displayed in the upper-right corner, which is a nice detail.
Country: Hong Kong
Date of Issue: 1st November 2012
The signs of the zodiac in chronological order are as follows (the same order that they appear on the sheet, left to right, top to bottom):
- Capricorn, the Fish-Tailed Goat, December 22 to January 20
- Aquarius, the Water Carrier, January 21 to February 19
- Pisces, the Fish, 20 February to March 20
- Aries, the Ram, March 21 to April 20
- Taurus, the Bull, April 21 to May 20
- Gemini, the Twins, May 21 to June 20
- Cancer, the Crab, June 21 to July 21
- Leo, the Lion, July 22 to August 22
- Virgo, the Maiden, August 23 to September 22
- Libra, the Scales, September 23 to October 22
- Scorpio, the Scorpion, October 23 to November 21
- Sagittarius, the Archer, November 22 to December 21