New Zealand – 2023 Year of the Rabbit

New Zealand - 2023 Year of the Rabbit

The story of Chinese New Year starts with Jade Emperor, who created the Zodiac calendar, a 12 -year cycle to help track the passage of time. The Rabbit was chosen to represent the fourth year in the Zodiac after it came fourth in the Jade Emperor’s great race. Chinese believe that the Zodiac and the animal years in which people are born have a tremendous influence on their lives and personalities. Despite the rabbit coming fourth in the Jade Emperor’s great race, being a Rabbit is considered fortunate.

The Year of the Rabbit will be commemorated with stamps and collectables in December ahead of the New Year in 2023.


The design of the 2023 Year of the Rabbit stamps is inspired by the style of the Chinese nianhua poster, which traditionally show gods, animals and babies enacting Chinese folklore. The style of the posters can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty when woodblock printing was popularised.

The stamps, created by Wellington designer Ying-Min Chu, are intended to evoke a sense of nostalgia while also looking forward to a prosperous year ahead. This stamp issue includes a miniature sheet, first day covers and a presentation pack.