Arago: 2008 Chinese New Year Issue: Year of the Rat

2008 Chinese New Year Issue: Year of the Rat

On January 9, 2008, in San Francisco, California, the Postal Service issued a 41-cent Lunar New Year commemorative stamp in a pressure-sensitive adhesive sheet of twelve stamps. Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland, designed the stamp.

Beginning in 2008, the Postal Service introduced a series of Lunar New Year stamps. The series will continue through 2019, with stamps issued consecutively to celebrate the Year of the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar.

Ethel Kessler, working on the new series with illustrator Kam Mak of Brooklyn, New York, chose festive red lanterns that are common decoration at New Year celebrations, at which celebrants frequently hang them in rows. Kessler also incorporated elements from the series of Lunar New Year stamps designed by Clarence Lee of Honolulu, Hawaii, who created paper-cut designs for all twelve animals associated with the Chinese lunar calendar as well as the calligraphic Chinese characters drawn by Lau Bun, also of Honolulu.

Seventy-two million stamps were printed in the gravure process by Avery Dennison (AVR).


"Philately," Postal Bulletin, December 6, 2007.

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