Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year Series

US #2720 Year of the Rooster
US #2720
Year of the Rooster

For the first time ever, the Postal Service issued a special stamp for the New Year in 1992. Printed in a new and experimental format; panes of 20 that are four-stamps-wide and five-stamps-deep, the stamp depicts a stylized rooster, referring to the Chinese year which began on January 23, 1993.

Based on Chinese paper cut-outs, the rooster stamp was popular. In fact, the post office servicing San Francisco’s Chinatown sold nearly two million stamps in the month of January alone. In 1994 the series continued with the issue of this stamp commemorating the upcoming New Year, the Year of the Dog.

US #2817 Year of the Dog
US #2817
Year of the Dog

Artist Clarence Lee of Honolulu, Hawaii based his design on the Pekingese, the royal dog of China. Regarded as sacred, the dog was kept as royal dog of the Imperial Palace, and could only be owned by those of royal blood. Following the British invasion of Beijing (Peking) in 1860, the Pekingese was brought to England.

US #2876 Year of the Boar
US #2876
Year of the Boar

According to legend, the order of the twelve animals was determined by Buddha himself. Concerned for the welfare of the Chinese nation, he called all the animals in the kingdom to a meeting, but only 12 beasts showed up. For their loyalty, Buddha honored each of the twelve animals, in the order of their arrival, with a year in the Chinese zodiac – beginning with the rat and ending with the boar.

US #3060 Year of the Rat
US #3060
Year of the Rat
According to tradition, people born during an animal’s year are marked by its disposition and character.  Individuals born during the Year of the Rat are said to be: energetic, charming, meticulous, sociable, persistent, humorous, generous, honest, jolly, and even seductive. Many of these traits seem somewhat contradictory to the way most westerners think of rodents.
US #3120 Year of the Ox
US #3120
Year of the Ox

Individuals born during the Year of the Ox are trustworthy, dependable, and conscientious. Known to have strong ideas, they are also said to be stubborn and jealous. Through hard work and fortitude however, they are likely to prosper.

US #3179 Year of the Tiger
US #3179
Year of the Tiger

People born during tiger years are believed to be courageous and strong, as well as generous and sensitive. They may be self-assured, but can also be hasty and unpredictable. Tigers are leaders and protectors; they are noble and honorable.

US #3272 Year of the Hare
US #3272
Year of the Hare
According to legend, those born during rabbit years are kind, sweet, calm, and compassionate. Popular people who provide good company, they are never ignored. Because individuals born during these years have a keen sense of good taste and artistic appreciation, their home is always a beautiful one. They are often tasteful dressers as well.  Rabbit people do not like to argue, and live quiet, peaceful lives. Well-known personalities born during rabbit years include Walt Whitman (1819), Marie Curie (1867), Albert Einstein (1879), and Frank Sinatra (1915).
US #3370 Year of the Dragon
US #3370
Year of the Dragon

The origin of the New Year Festival is too old to trace. But according to one legend, a man-eating-dragon called Nian (“year in Chinese) terrorized China until an old man convinced it to stop. People hung red decorations at year’s end to scare Nian away just incase it returned. Today, Chinese people still put up red decorations and set off firecrackers to scare Nain and other evil spirits away.

US #3500 Year of the Snake
US #3500
Year of the Snake
A “snake year” is thought to be lucky. Called the “little dragon,” the snake is a symbol of good fortune. Those born in the Year of the Snake are said to be wise, decisive, attractive, and charming. This was the ninth stamp in the Lunar New Year Series.
US #3559 Year of the Horse
US #3559
Year of the Horse

Those born in the Year of the Horse are said to be outgoing, athletic, confident, hard-working, and independent.

US #3747 Year of the Ram
US #3747
Year of the Ram

Those born in the Year of the Ram are said to be gentle, kind-hearted, elegant, wise, shy, charming, artistic, and fond of nature.

US #3832 Year of the Monkey
US #3832
Year of the Monkey
The Monkey is clever, flexible, and innovative. A person born during this year will be successful at whatever he chooses to do. The year America was born, 1776, was a Monkey year.
US #3895 Chinese New Year Two-Sided Pane
US #3895
Chinese New Year Two-Sided Pane

In 2005, the U.S. Postal Service gathered all the Lunar New Year designs onto one souvenir sheet.  At the 2005 first-class rate of 37¢, however, the cost of the sheet would have been $4.44 for 12 stamps. The number four is an unlucky number in Asia.  The Postal Service decided to make the sheet double-sided. The total price of the sheet of 24 then became $8.88; eight is a lucky number in Asia.

US #3997 Chinese New Year
US #3997
Chinese New Year
In 2006, the first-class rate became 39¢, the total for a sheet of 12 was $4.68, and production of a single-sided sheet was possible – as luck would have it.
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