Stamp Issue “The Eighteen Arhats”
21/11/2022 15:30

Macao Post and Telecommunications Bureau will issue the stamp theme “The Eighteen Arhats” on 1st December, 2022. The Arhat, “Luohan” or “Aluohan” in Chinese, is a transliteration from Sanskrit. The word has three denotations: the first is “to kill the thief”, which means to eliminate all the disturbances; the second is “to be venerated”, meaning gaining the veneration of other living things; and the third is “not to be reborn”, which means achieving Nirvana and not being subject to the suffering of “Samsara”, the cycle of reincarnations.


Among the Buddhist deities, images of Arhats appeared relatively late and are often depicted in sculptures and paintings. Zen Buddhism, flourishing in both the northern and the southern parts of China during the period of the Five Dynasties, advocated introspection and emphasized that the mind should focus on religious practices rather than external factors. The Arhats reflected the relevant Buddhist perspectives and, therefore, won the admiration of the people. Artistic images of the Arhats first appeared during the Liang Dynasty, and Arhats became a dominating theme in Buddhist sculptures and paintings during the Song Dynasty which emphasized “realism”.


This issue includes a set of eighteen stamps. The oil painting “Eighteen Arhats” is skillfully painted by the Macao painter Sou Farong on rice paper based on his enormous knowledge of Buddhism. The Arhats are delineated as traditional Buddhist monks, each in a different “realistic” posture, some posing relaxingly, and others sitting rigidly and solemnly. In the background of the painting are banana trees, willows, rocks and so on, added with a lion, a dragon, a tiger, a deer and an elephant. Each Arhat is presented in his own style in relation to what precedes and succeeds him, thus revealing the extraordinary imagination and creativity of the painter.


The above issue will be available for sale at the General Post Office (9:00a.m. to 5:30p.m.), the Communications Museum (9:00a.m. to 1:00p.m., 2:30p.m. to 5:30p.m.), and the “Rua do Campo” Post Office (9:00a.m. to 6:00p.m.). The mail service for the philatelic products cancelled with the commemorative postmark of this issue will be available on the issue date at the above locations. The philatelic products are as follows:


Philatelic Products Selling Price Quantity
Set of 18 Stamps 45.00 patacas 160,000
Sheetlet 45.00 patacas  
First Day Cover with Stamps (set of 3 FDC) 63.00 patacas 2,800
Information Brochure 7.00 patacas 2,500
Information Brochure with Stamps 52.00 patacas  


Among the printing quantity of stamps, 150,000 sets are printed as sheetlets and 10,000 sets are printed as long scroll stamps, packaged as “Gift set of long scroll stamps”. The prestigious gift box contains one sheet of long scroll stamps that is of the size 570 x 120 mm and consists of a series of 18 stamps on a long horizontal roll. It is a magnificent philatelic product of high artistic and collection value. The gift set is priced at 60.00 patacas each and available in a limited quantity. Grasp the opportunity to expand your collection!


The stamp designer of this issue is Mr. Sou Farong (Adapt. Macao Post and Telecommunications Bureau), and the text of the information brochure is written by Ms. Erica, Li I.


This is the last of the sixteen themes in 2022. The previous issued stamps are “Lunar Year of the Tiger” on 05/01/2022, “Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022” on 25/01/2022, the label stamp “Lunar Year of the Tiger” on 15/02/2022, “Red Cotton Tree Flower” on 01/03/2022, “Sixth Patriarch – Hui Neng” on 10/03/2022, “70th Anniversary of the Nursery Service of the Women’s General Association” on 21/05/2022, “50th Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage” on 10/06/2022, “Feast of Saint John” on 24/06/2022, “Macanese Gastronomy” on 20/07/2022, “Historical School Buildings in Macao” on 09/09/2022, “120th Anniversary of Banco Nacional Ultramarino” on 20/09/2022, “400th Anniversary of the Chapel of Our Lady of Penha” on 09/10/2022, “Contemporary Buildings” on 28/10/2022, “Transmac – 70 Years in Macao” on 08/11/2022, “Chinese Classical Poetry – Poems of Song Dynasty” on 18/11/2022, and “130th Anniversary of Tung Sin Tong Charitable Society” will be issued on 22/11/2022.


Technical Data of Stamp “The Eighteen Arhats”


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