February is when we focus on fashion, love, and of course the Chinese New Year. So raise a glass to the Monkey
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Zoë Manzi, Editor, MO magazine, The Condé Nast Publications
Forgive me January, but I'm quite happy to say sayonara to you. It may still be grey but somehow February is already full of promise. With Valentine's Day and Fashion Weeks à go-go looming, it's time to enjoy a bit of frivolity and transplant those ubiquitous green smoothies with a cocktail or two to help 2016 get well underway.
Preparations are also gearing up a notch for Chinese New Year. And what could be better than fireworks and a plethora of dragon and lion dances to shake off the shackles and get the parties swinging with a festive bang? All you cheeky monkeys out there – cheerful, fun-loving, and full of mischief and merriment – yup, it's your year and we will be celebrating alongside you. After all, we could all benefit from incorporating a little bit of that monkey magic into our lives.
Indeed, China issues a special set of Zodiac stamps each year to commemorate the lunar New Year, and monkey stamps are always popular given the animal's association with prosperity and all things fiscal. This year's stamps (pictured above), however, mark an important moment, which makes them especially collectable: the renowned 92-year-old Chinese artist Huang Yongyu was commissioned to create this year's stamps by China Post, and one of his designs depicts a delighted female monkey being kissed by two baby monkeys to symbolise the end of China's 30-year, one-child-only policy. 2016 has already seen an absolute buying frenzy, with queues reported in post offices throughout the country and collectors desperate to get their hands on these historic stamps. So get them while you can.
Visit Mandarin Oriental for details on our own celebrations around the world, starting with February's Monthly Insider on joyful New Year happenings in Guangzhou.