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The years of the Chinese calendar follow a 12-year cycle and each year is associated with one of 12 animal symbols (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig). Every New Year marks the end of the reign of one animal and the beginning of the next. Those born under the sign of an animal are thought to possess the qualities associated with it.

Pigs are the symbol of wealth and fortune. People born in the year of the pig are attributed with being energetic and always enthusiastic. They are realistic and though they are not wasteful spenders, they are said to enjoy life and treat themselves occasionally.

The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival is the longest holiday of the year in China and has a history of more than 4000 years. Specific activities and traditions will be celebrated each day. Celebrations start on February 4th, which marks the actual New Year's Eve in the Chinese calendar. The traditional Spring Festival itself commences on February 5th till February 15th. February 16th till 18th are preparation days in the build-up for the Lantern Festival which will peak on February 19th 2019.

Zhang Yong's 'courtesy name' is Shangren. Since childhood, Shangren was tutored in Chinese painting under Mr Luo Jintang, an artist of the Lingnan school of painting and a cultural relics expert in Guangdong Province. Later, he was taught by Mr Ye Quan, a famous Lingnan painter. Shangren is currently a member of the Guangdong Youth Artists Association, a member of the Guangdong Collectors Association and is the distinguished artist of the Studio of Political Consultative Conference of Guangzhou Haizhu District.

Maxine Cannon, General Manager, Isle of Man Stamps and Coins said: "We are proud to present this special stamp issue in conjunction with the Naughton Group and Artist Zhang Yong. Following up on last year's Year of the Dog collection, celebrating the Spring Festival with our Chinese friends has become a tradition that commemorates the relationship between the Isle of Man and China.

In addition to the four-piece set a First Day Cover and a Presentation Pack are now available for pre-order at

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