Chinese New Year Celebration at China Cultural Centre in Fiji, Edward Street, Suva, Fiji
2022 Year of the TIger Chinese New Year scaled
Official First Day Cover Post FIji Chinese New Year 2022 Year of the Tiger

The Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated around the world.  On Feb 15, the China Culture Center in Fiji and Post Fiji jointly issued a set of the Year of the Tiger stamps and first-day covers to mark cultural exchanges between the two countries. The set includes four stamps which depict a cartoon tiger and distinctive tropical landscapes and culture features of Fiji.

The stamps were designed by Zhong Feng from Qingdao, Shandong province, who drew inspiration from animated, colorful patterns on cloth tiger toys, a unique local handicraft.

It is the seventh successive year that Chinese zodiac animal stamps were issued by the two institutions to usher in the lunar New Year.

YEAR OF THE OX 2021

Collin Yabaki, director of Fiji’s Heritage and Arts Department, and Anirudha Bansod, chief executive officer of Post Fiji, congratulated the successful launch of the Year of Ox stamps, saying that such a stamp launch is a great way to get in touch with Fiji’s communities and this will help strengthen the friendship between the peoples of the two countries.

According to Bian Jiang, an artist of China’s Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts and the designer of the Year of Ox stamps, the backgrounds of the ox stamps are set in village, beach, cultural characteristics of Fiji and China-Fiji friendship. Through the combination of strength and warmth, they depict vigorous oxen with the unique scenery of Fiji and interprets ox’s dedication to economy and its outstanding merits, such as intelligence and reliability.  The ox is the second of the 12 zodiac animals in the Chinese zodiac cycle. 

2021 Year of the Ox Chinese New Year. scaled
The Year of the Ox Official First Day Cover Stamps Fiji Post Office scaled
2020 Year of the Rat Chinese New Year. scaled
The Year of the rat Official First Day Cover Stamps Fiji Post Office

YEAR OF THE RAT 2020

The Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated around the world.  On Feb 15, the China Culture Center in Fiji and Post Fiji jointly issued a set of the Year of the Tiger stamps and first-day covers to mark cultural exchanges between the two countries. The set includes four stamps which depict a cartoon tiger and distinctive tropical landscapes and culture features of Fiji.

The stamps were designed by Zhong Feng from Qingdao, Shandong province, who drew inspiration from animated, colorful patterns on cloth tiger toys, a unique local handicraft.

It is the seventh successive year that Chinese zodiac animal stamps were issued by the two institutions to usher in the lunar New Year.

A History of Fiji’s Currency

$5 Polymer Banknote

The front design features Fiji’s endemic Kulawai (Red-throated Lorikeet), our smallest member of the parrot family. Predominantly green, the Kulawai is a very rare inhabitant of the mountain forest canopy which feeds on nectar and pollen. Kulawai has only been recorded from Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, and Ovalau. The last confirmed sighting was in 1993 and searches in the last few years have failed to find it.

The arboreal ship rat Rattus rattus, a common rat in Fiji’s forest is an aggressive predator of small nesting birds and is believed to be the major culprit in the demise of the Kulawai. A clear window with an image of an i-Taukei man is featured on the note. An image of a Kato ni Masima (salt basket) is also featured on the front of the note. The Back design features Fiji’s endangered Crested Iguana, endemic Balaka Palm, Masiratu flower, and Mount Valili in Vanua Levu.

$10 Polymer Banknote

The front design features Fiji’s endemic Beli (Lever’s Goby). Beli is one of few true freshwater fish, living all its life in fast-running freshwater as it flows over stones to which they often attach. Beli are widespread and found in mid reaches of clear streams on all the high islands, sometimes over a hundred meters above sea level. They are generally absent from muddy water and are threatened by alteration in either water flow or water quality.

Their presence in any river is an indicator of good habitat quality and minimal catchment disturbance. An image of i Buburau-ni-bete (duck dish) is also featured on the front. The back design features the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva in 1914 and the Joske’s Thumb in the background.

$20 Polymer Banknote

The front design features one of the world’s iconic rare birds, the Kacau ni Gau(Fiji Petrel) which is known to nest only on Gau Island in Fiji. Experts believe that no more than 50 pairs survive. For much of its life, the Kacau ni Gau is a true ocean bird and remains at sea probably well outside Fijian waters for months on end. Adults return to Gau only to breed in a burrow in the upland forests, and do so only at night and leave for the ocean before dawn.

The Kacau ni Gau is almost never seen on the island, except when individuals are blinded by the light and become grounded in villages. Research over many years has failed to find the nesting sites but this activity is continuing. The Kacau ni Gau has a very distinctive flight style which helps to make it stand out.An image of a Foa (Rotuman coconut scraper) is also featured on the front. The back design features the fishing, forestry, sugarcane, and mining industries of Fiji. Mount Uluinabukelevu in Kadavu is also featured in the background.

$50 Polymer Banknote

The front design features the Tagimoucia (Medinella Waterhousei) flower which is perhaps Fiji’s best-known flower and has, in the past, been recommended as the national flower. It is the subject of songs, stories, and folklore. Tagimoucia is a liana of the upland forest and where it occurs it often flowers profusely in bunches of vivid scarlet petals contrasting with the pure white centers.

The name Tagimoucia is synonymous with the plant in its home in upland Taveuni around the lake with the same name, but Medinella waterhousei also occurs on Mount Seatura in Bua. An image of a Wasekaseka (Whale’s tooth necklace) is also featured on the front. The back design features a culture and heritage theme with descriptions of a traditional Tabua and Yaqona Vakaturaga ceremony.

$100 Polymer Banknote

The front design features Fiji’s Nanai (Cicada). Fiji has the richest fauna of cicadas in the southwest Pacific with 19 species, all of which are endemic. Cicadas are well known for their loud calls, some of which resound through Fiji’s forests. Larval cicadas live underground and feed on the sap from the roots of forest trees. They then emerge, shed their larval skins, and enjoy a short, noisy adult life in Fiji’s forests.

Maka is the common Fijian name for cicadas in general, but the Nanai is unique due to its striking appearance. Nanai is extremely well known to the inland communities of Viti Levu as it emerges in enormous numbers once every eight years and is not otherwise seen. An image of a Buli kula (Golden Cowrie) is also featured on the front. The back design features the map of Fiji with 180º Meridian Line marking the dawn of a new day, smiling faces representing Fiji’s friendliness, a cruise boat for island hopping and tourists snorkeling.

Currency Advertisment 2020 scaled

FAMILY OF NOTES AND COINS RELEASED

In December 2012, Fiji launched a completely new family of notes and coins. This included historic currency design changes –the replacement of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait with local flora and fauna designs on all note and coin denominations, the introduction of Fiji’s first $2 coin, and Fiji’s first polymer note in $5 denomination.

December 2012

1 AND 2 CENTS COINS CEASED.

In October 2008, the issuance of 1 and 2 cents coins ceased. In February 2009, a new set of smaller size and lighter coins were introduced.  The larger size coins of 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, as well as the 1 and 2 cents, were demonetized in April 2009. These changes arose from the global rise in metal prices and RBF’s efforts to contain currency production costs.

October 2008

$50 NOTE DENOMINATION WAS INTRODUCED

In November 1995, a $50 note denomination was introduced, followed by a new set of notes in 2007 including the new $100 denomination, in varying sizes, to aid the visually impaired.

NOVEMBER 1995

FIJI CHANGED TO A DECIMAL CURRENCY

In 1969, Fiji changed to a decimal currency. The currency structure was the 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c and 20c coins, and the $0.50, $1, $2, $5, $10, and $20 notes. The 50 cents and the one-dollar note were converted to coins in 1975 and 1995 respectively.

1969

MINT A ONE PENNY COIN

In 1936, Fiji was one of the few Commonwealth countries to mint a one penny coin featuring the name of King Edward VIII, who abdicated in one of the great constitutional dramas of the 20th Century.

1936

INTRODUCED FIJI’S FIRST COINAGE OF PENNIES AND SHILLINGS

In 1934 the Currency Board introduced Fiji’s first coinage of pennies and shillings, which were manufactured at the Royal Mint in London. The British system of measuring currency in pounds, shillings, and pence remained in circulation until 1969. The pennies and halfpennies, made of copper mixed with nickel, had a distinctive feature -a hole through the centre. In World War II, these became popular souvenirs with American soldiers based in Fiji. The other denominations were sixpences, shillings, and two shillings made from 50 percent silver. At the time of the first coin issue, Fiji got a consignment of notes which became the sole notes to be legal tender, meaning they became the only money to be accepted in Fiji in exchange for goods and services.

1934

FIJI CURRENCY BOARD WAS ESTABLISHED

In 1914, the Fiji Currency Board was established to manage Fiji’s monetary affairs and to issue and redeem currency which was the focal point of Fiji’s currency system for the next 60 years. English coins were used at first.

1914