USPS Celebrates the Year of the Rooster with New Forever Stamps
The U.S. Postal Service™ celebrates the Lunar New Year with another beautiful stamp in the series. The Forever® stamp celebrates the year of the rooster which begins on Saturday, January 28 this year.
The Year of the Rooster Forever stamp was dedicated on January 5 in Seattle Washington and is the first stamp to be issued in 2017. “Today’s event is important, not only because it’s our first stamp dedication of the new calendar year, but also because it gives the Postal Service a chance to reinforce our commitment to celebrate America’s great diversity through our stamps,” said Western Area Operations vice president, Greg Graves, who dedicated the stamp.
The Postal Service introduced the Celebrating Lunar New Year series in 2008 and will continue the through 2019 concluding with years of the dog and the boar. The first series, Lunar New Year, was introduced in 1992 with the year of the rooster and ran until 2004. Souvenir sheets of all 12 stamps of the first series were released in 2005 and 2006.
Considered the most important holiday of the year for many Asian communities around the world, the Lunar New Year is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian heritage.
The Lunar New Year, which falls on the new moon between January 21st and February 20th, is also known as “Chinese New Year”, “Spring Festival” and “New Year Festival.”
In the United States and elsewhere, the occasion is marked in various ways: Festivals include parades featuring enormous and vibrantly painted papier-mâché dragons, parties and other special events. Vendors at outdoor markets sell flowers, toys, food and more. Musicians play drums to celebrate a time of renewed hope for the future. Many families present red envelopes (hongbao), like the one depicted in the stamp art, containing money to children and loved ones.
Year of the Rooster Forever stamp now available
The Year of the Rooster Forever stamp is being issued as a souvenir sheet of 12 self-adhesive Forever Stamps . The stamp design incorporates elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps, including an intricate cut-paper design of a rooster and the Chinese character – drawn in grass-style calligraphy – for “rooster.”
Art director Ethel Kessler worked on the series with illustrator Kam Mak, a Hong Kong-born artist who grew up in New York City’s Chinatown and now lives in Brooklyn. The artwork focuses on some of the common ways the Lunar New Year holiday is celebrated.
For the Year of the Rooster, the illustration — originally created using oil paints on panel — depicts a colorful rooster emblazoned on a red envelope. The color red symbolizes luck in Chinese culture, while rooster imagery is often used to ward off evil spirits.
The characters at the top of the envelope form a common Chinese greeting of celebration and wish for prosperity and good fortune, used most frequently during the Lunar New Year.
Share the news of the stamp using the hashtag #LunarNewYear.
Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain first-day-of-issue postmarks by mail. They may purchase new stamps at local Post Offices, at the Postal Store™ or by calling
800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in envelopes addressed to:
Year of the Rooster Stamp Fulfillment Services Cancellation Services
8300 NE Underground Drive,
Pillar 210 Kansas City, MO 64144-9998
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for postmarks up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers are charged 5 cents each. All orders must be postmarked by March 5, 2017.
Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamps and stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.