Sunday Stamps 046: The Three Wise Men

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Here is one Christmas stamp from an envelope that just arrived from Australia. A good blogger-friend of mine, the thoughtful Zam, now based in NSW, sent me a packet with several beautiful postcards and bookmarks. 
This is actually one of the five stamps issued for this year’s Christmas stamp set:

Valued at AUD$ 1.50, this stamp shows the Three Wise Men – Balthazar, Melchor and Caspar – on their journey to Bethlehem to worship the baby Jesus Christ.
Isn’t it beautiful? I think it is!
Without sounding too religious {or something to that effect), the story of the birth of Jesus Christ is one of the stories that I hold dearly in my heart. It has been told and re-told to me and my siblings when we were younger by my parents so that the meaning of Christmas wouldn’t be lost on us. And now that the family has expanded, the story is being passed down to my nieces and nephew so that they, too, know what Christmas is all about.

The illustration on the above stamp is something I have imagined the Three Kings to be – alit their camels, dressed in magnificent robes that befit their royal origins, and the guiding star, of course, shining brightest amongst the stars in a star-filled night.

The idea of collecting Christmas stamps from around the world excites me now. After receiving this and the previous ones from South Africa, I think I’m going to look out for others. I’ve checked the Post Offices online and its possible for me to order if I can’t get them from swaps. I wonder if it’s possible to place a special order or request for a stamp sheet or booklet printing of old or past issues of Christmas stamps?

Anyways, I would like to take this opportunity to greet all my blogger-friends and fellow postcards and stamps collectors a very happy Christmas. Here’s to a meaningful Christmas to us all :)

Postcard Friendship Friday 059: Bula, from Fiji!

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I just received this postcard showing a stunning sunset in Fiji! It was sent by my le Fab friend and town-mate (he blogs over at Jogels) who was on an equally fab holiday in the beautiful South Pacific islands of Fiji, the home of the pearly shells.

One of the most awe-inspiring sunsets I have ever seen. So serene, so mysterious.

Did you know that most of Fiji’s islands were formed through volcanic activities starting around 150millions years ago? I know, I can’t imagine the time element involved in the creation of these beautiful islands, can you?  It’s been said that geothermal activities still happen in Vanua Levu and Taveuni.  Who knows, Fiji will still expand or there’ll be more new islands that will be formed out of this natural activities in the future.

In the 17th ad 18th centuries, the Dutch and the British explored the islands but it was the British that occupied Fiji lasting up to a century.

Salamat, my friend. This is my first and only postcard from Fiji and from the region of Oceania.

Sunday Stamps 037 and 038: Two-in-one post

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I missed last week’s meme so I’m going to put two entries in this week’s post to make up for my absence. Sorry, friends, I got so engrossed with stamping and that I had forgotten our meme.

Last week’s theme asks for stamps from mainland Asia. I need not look too far – I’m featuring an old stamp of Cambodia issued in 1984 when Cambodia was under the Vietnamese control (1979-1989). It can be recalled that the Vietnamese expelled the Khmer Rouge in 1979 and helped install a Vietnamese-backed Cambodian government.

Used but well-preserved.
No idea if this is a definitive or a commemorative but it does look like a commemorative issue of the 1st anniversary of the International Forum for Peace in Southeast Asia which was held in Phnom Penh in February 1983. Notice that the partially visible postmark bears the word “Kampuchea”, or, Cambodia. At that time, the use of French was common and the country’s official name République Populaire du Kampuchéa. Big, big thanks to my good friend thestampraider for giving me this and other old Cambodia stamps. She will soon be  blogging about stamps of Cambodia that she had collected out of several years of seeking far and wide, specifically the post-1979 Cambodia stamps. You can find her newly created blog here – Stamps of Cambodia.
Next up are stamps from Japan, under this week’s Oceania and Island-nations theme:
 
On top is a stamp showing one of the most popular sports in Japan. Baseball was introduced to Japan in 1837 and has been a popular sport ever since. Japan’s 33rd National Athletic Meeting in Nagano in 1978 was celebrated with a stamp showing a batter and catcher against a backdrop of Nagano’s mountains. (Source) No info on the one below. Help appreciated 😀