Sunday, 13 March 2011

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM NEW ZEALAND

The Cape Reinga lighthouse stands on a spectacular site overlooking the meeting of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, at the northern extremity of New Zealand. First lit in 1941, this lighthouse replaced the Maria Van Diemen Lighthouse built in 1879 on nearby Motuopao Island. The 10 m (33 ft) octagonal concrete tower with black lantern roof was originally powered by diesel-generated electricity. The station was automated and the last keeper was withdrawn in 1987. In April 2000, the light was powered from battery banks charged by solar panels. Approximately 10,000 people visit the Cape Reinga lighthouse each year.
On January 12, 2011 New Zealand issued a Lunar New Year: Year of the Rabbit set of four stamps celebrating the Chinese New Year that began on February 3, 2011 and runs until January 22, 2012. The Year of the Rabbit is the fourth in the cycle of the Chinese New Year, occurring every twelve years.
The $1.90 stamp uses the Chinese painting technique (with vibrant color) to portray the well known Chinese story in which the rabbit jumps down from the moon (where the essence of the rabbit is said to have originated). Thank you, Alex.

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