Apr 13, 2010

Korea FDC on "Old & Historic Trees of Korea (2nd Series)"

First Day Cover
Sobrescrito de 1.º Dia

South Korea

Old & Historic Trees of Korea (2nd Series)

Date of Issue : 5 April 2010

As the second installment of the “Old & Historic Trees of Korea” series, four old and historic trees that have achieved their beauty over a long period of time are introduced.

Old Buddha's Plum at Baegyangsa Temple in Jangseong (Natural Monuments No. 486)
Every year when March arrives at Baegyangsa Temple located at Jangseong, Jeollanam-do province, plum tree blossom splendidly, with their delicate scent swirling around the entire temple. Among the plum trees that have been raised in the front yard of Baegyangsa Temple since 1700, a red plum tree was transplanted with the relocation of the temple to its current location in 1863. This is the tree that came to be called Gobulmae: it came to be called by its new name, Gobulmae, as Gobulchongnim, the Old Buddha's Monastery, was formed at Baegyangsa Temple to pay tribute to the original teachings of Sakyamuni

Pine tree at Samsong-ri, Goesan (Natural Monuments No. 290)
The pine tree at Samsong-ri, Goesan, also called Yongsong (dragon pine tree) since it resembles a wriggling dragon, is really beautiful in the way its trunk, split into two, twists together. It is also called “Wang-sonamu” (king pine tree) since it is 600 years old and as tall as 13.5 meters - tallest in the forest. People offer ancestral rites to this tree every January, praying for good harvest and peace for the coming year.

Thunbergii camphor, at Samsan-ri, Jangheung (Natural Monuments No. 481)
At Samsan-ri, Jangheung, three Thunbergii camphor mingle together as if they were just one tree. They show such a thick, lush green all year around that they are reminiscent of a little forest on its own. Taking unique and beautiful forms, they are 11 meters tall and about 400 years old. According to related legend, they were planted by the ancestors of the Gyeongju Yi clan in approximately 1580 when they settled in this area. Being the village’s guardian tree that has shared the same history as the village, the trees are highly valued in terms of folklore.

Pair of Chinese junipers of Songgwangsa Temple (Natural Monuments No. 88)
Pair of Chinese junipers at Songgwang Temple, Suncheon assume an amazing shape, as the two trees stand side by side with their trunks twisted together, looking as if the dragons are wriggling to prepare for an ascent to the sky. According to related legend, a Bojo national priest and a Damdang national priest during the Goryeo Dynasty placed their canes made of Chinese juniper, which they used on their travels back to Korea from China, and the canes turned into these marvelous pair of trees. They are about 800 years old and 12 meters tall.

Nice stamp design as usual. This time, my friend affixed 3 definitive stamps on the back of the cover, with nice and clear datestamp cancellation. It is the first time I ever seen the new 1000 Won definitive stamp. It was introduced on 17 Nov 2009, featuring “Cheongjasajayugaehyangno” (Celadon incense burner with lion-shaped lid). To prevent counterfeit or forgery, this 1000 Won definitive stamp, has adopted both printing in optically variable ink as well as minute letters. The letters “한국우정KOREA POST” are printed in optically variable ink on the right side of the background, and these letters become visible when the stamp is tilted. And at the bottom part of the incense burner, “한국우정KOREA POST,” is inserted in minute letters.

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