Sep 23, 2011

China FDC on "Lord Guan"

First Day Cover
Sobrescrito de 1.º Dia


Lord Guan

Date of Issue : 12 September 2011

On the stamp set FDC :
2-1 : Lord Guan Riding His Steed
2-2 : Night Reading

Guan Yu (died in 219), courtesy name Yunchang, alias Changsheng, was born during the reign of Emperor Huandi of the Eastern Han in Xiexian County, Hedong (present-day Yuncheng, Shanxi Province). He was an eminent general during the Three Kingdoms Period, conferred the title of "Marquis of Hanshou". The classical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms fictionalized the fact that Cao Cao gifted Guan Yu a dwelling in Xuchang after capturing him, as well as two wives of Liu Bei, in Xuzhou. To avoid suspicion, Guan Yu divided the residence into two parts, leaving the internal one for the two ladies only. In the morning, he paid a respectful call to his sisters-in-law, and after night fell, he read Spring and Autumn Annals all through the nights by the light of a candle, which has become a story passed on with praise.

Guan was respectfully referred to by the public as "Lord Guan", and defined and worshipped as a god capable of driving away evils and bringing peace and prosperity. Temples of Guan Yu were constructed everywhere across the country. The earliest Guan Yu statue discovered so far is a clay figure unearthed from a Northern Song temple in Shashi, Hubei Province, which is now collected by Jingzhou Municipal Museum. The earliest protrait is a wood carved image discovered in Pingyang (present-day Linfen), Shanxi Province. Dating from the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234), it was originally housed in a Buddhist pagoda in Ejin Banner, Inner Mongolia, and is now collected by the State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.

I very much like the design of this stamp issue.

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