Sunday, 17 February 2013

Year of the Snake

Take a trip back in time to 2001 when it too was the Year of the Snake (I haven't got anything for 2013, yet).  The Isle of Man combined its issue of this miniature sheet with the Hong Kong Stamp Exhibition (its logo is shown on the right). The theme is of St Patrick  banishing snakes and venomous reptiles from Ireland, apparently he did  the same for the Isle of Man, what a busy time he had.

There were arguments as to who owned the Isle of Man, England or Ireland, a strong claim was made for Ireland based on the absence of snakes.  The counter claim was that if you brought a snake to the island it would not die therefore it must belong to England.  Today it is a self governing British Crown Dependency
As one of the six Celtic Nations the sheet design beautifully reflects that heritage. I like how the first day cancel echoes the snake design.
2013 is the year of the Black Snake, enigmatic and intuitive.  Black is the colour of space, night and the colour of deep water.
1969: 'Swamp Fauna'
And indeed the year is that of the Black Water Snake, here is the real thing a River Snake. The year will be full of unexpected changes and instability.  Having said that the year is considered lucky because it is thought the snake has some resemblance to a dragon. Speaking of which I always enjoyed the television series of 'The Water Margin'  that followed the adventures of outlaws in the Sung Dynasty.  It always began with  a philosophical adage, one of the most memorable was:

"Do not despise the snake for having no horns,for who is to say it will not become a dragon?""

2012: Year of the Dragon

 New Year Greetings -  萬事如意Wànshìrúyì - "May all your wishes be fulfilled"
An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps theme of - the lunar New Year


♥♥ Willa ♥♥ said...

I have that one from China.

My Sunday Stamp: Year Of The Snake

VioletSky said...

The snake does lend itself well to the Celtic design, doesn't it?!
I like that saying about the snake possibly becoming a dragon (I don't think of snakes as being positive, perhaps I should change that mindset)

viridian said...

That stamp from the Isle of Man is so amazing. Note how the three heads of the snakes echo the three legs running that is the symbol for man I know there is a special name for this symbol, I just can't think of it.
Thank you for joining in this week!

Postcardy said...

I like the dragon design. It looks like it is going to jump out of the paper at me!

Ana said...

I love the Isle of Man stamp! Actually, the design of the 3 snakes reminds me a lot of the Isle of Man flag!

Marcie said...

The Isle of Man stamps looks really special!

Bob Scotney said...

I don't think I have any stamps from the Isle of Man; great stamp.

I missed the linky list this week but you can see mine at

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

the stamp from the Isle of Man is superb. As far as I'm concerned it is the hands down winner of any I've seen.

Helen said...

I agree with Sheila - the Isle of Man snake stamp is amazing. I like how rather than taking on an Oriental sort of look, like many of Lunar stamps we have seen this week, this stamp combines the local celtic heritage with the Chinese calendar. Very clever. Very nice.