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Vietnam Post introduces stamp set “Mai An Tiem Legend” (Tale of Watermelon)

On 1 June 2021, the Ministry of Information and Communications issued the stamp set "Mai An Tiem Legend (Tale of Watermelon)", including 04 stamps and 01 block with the face values of 4,000 VND; 4,000 VND; 4,000 VND; 6,000 and 18,000 VND. The stamp set is provided on public postal network from 1 June 2021 to 31 December 2022.

Stamp set "Mai An Tiem Legend (Tale of Watermelon)" includes 04 stamps and 01 block

The stamp set with size: 32 x 43 (mm) và 43 x 32 (mm) and block: 148 x 108 (mm) is designed by Mr. To Minh Trang (Vietnam Post) with a contemporary folk layout, seamlessly connecting the main contents of the tale in a legendary context. The characters in the stamp set are shown in general terms of the King Hung period.

According to the legend, in the 17th King Hung period, there was a handsome, agile, resourceful boy, adopted by the Kinh Hung as his son and named Mai An Tiem. He was beloved by the King and was arranged to marry the Princess. Mai An Tiem once displeased the King and was exiled to an uninhabited island.

One day, while going around to look for wild vegetables, he came across a bird eating a strange red fruit. When he tasted it, he found it fresh and delicious. Mai An Tiem and his wife immediately planted seeds everywhere. Soon the plant was growing more fruitful, the rind thinning, and the fruit grew redder and sweeter. An Tiem named this fruit a watermelon and often carved words on the fruit and floated it on the sea in the hope that a merchant boat would pick it up and exchange food and rice for his family.

In the mainland, King Hung was offered this strange fruit. When he ate it, it was very sweet and cool, so he asked the origin. When he learned that the fruit was grown by An Tiem on the island, the King welcomed An Tiem and his wife back to the mainland. When returning, An Tiem and his wife brought a lot of seeds to distribute to their relatives and taught them how to plant and fertilize watermelons.

Since then, Mai An Tiem was considered the ancestor of watermelon farming and the discover of Nga Son land, Mai An Tiem’s watermelon became famous in Nga Son, Thanh Hoa.

Nowadays, in Nga Phu commune, Nga Son district, Thanh Hoa province, there is a mountain range named Mai An Tiem and known as the island An Tiem and his wife lived in the past. At the mountain foot, there is Mai An Tiem temple and the local people hold an annual festival from the 12th to the 15th day of the third lunar month. The stamp set received comments from the Institute of History and Professor Dr. Doan Thi Tinh.