(KTLA) – The United States Postal Service is celebrating Lunar New Year with a new commemorative stamp.
The “Year of the Dragon” stamp is on sale now at post offices across the country and on USPS.com.
The Postal Service unveiled the new stamp during a special event in Seattle’s historic Chinatown on Thursday. In total, 22 million of the new stamps have been printed, USPS officials said.
The Forever stamp features the face of a dragon with gold and red as primary colors. Artist Camille Chew said gold signifies prosperity in the coming year and red represents good luck.
The dragon design is actually a photograph of a papier-mâché mask that Chew printed, cut, scored, folded and painted by hand.
Twelve animals are associated with the Chinese zodiac and are celebrated with each passing year. The USPS began issuing stamps in observance of Lunar New Year in 2020.
Chew has worked alongside art director Antonio Alcalá on all of the previous Lunar New Year stamp designs.
Millions of people around the globe will celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday on Feb. 10, beginning on the night of the second new moon following the winter solstice.
The Lunar New Year festival celebrates the arrival of spring and a “time of renewal.” The time is often marked with parades, parties and social gatherings for those of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian heritage.
“For many Asian Americans, the Lunar New Year celebrates a chance to leave behind the troubles of the past year and invite prosperity and good luck moving forward,” said Connie So, a professor at the University of Washington.
So said this year’s Dragon stamp recognizes the importance of the diversity and cultural contributions of Asian Americans.
Because the dragon is the only mythical creature in the Chinese zodiac, people born during a dragon year are often said to be “successful, wise, and powerful.” Because of its allure, many Asian communities experience a “baby boom” during the Year of the Dragon.
Five elements — wood, fire, earth, metal and water — are also associated with each year’s animal sign. This year’s is wood.
Those born during the Year of the Wood Dragon are said to be “quieter and more introverted, but also successful, strong leaders who dedicate themselves fully to their work,” the Postal Service said.
The Year of the Dragon will come to an end on Jan. 28, 2025, and it will lead into the Year of the Snake.
For more about this year’s Lunar New Year stamp, click here.
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