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Lunar New Year Stamp Rings in 2018

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HONOLULU — The U.S. Postal Service today dedicated the Year of the Dog Forever stamp, the 11th of 12 stamps in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series during a first-day-of-issue ceremony at the Chinatown Cultural Plaza.

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.

In the United States and elsewhere, the occasion is marked in various ways, including parades featuring enormous and vibrantly painted papier-mâché dragons, parties and other special events. Vendors at outdoor markets sell flowers, toys, food and other items. Musicians play drums to celebrate a time of renewed hope for the future. Many families present red envelopes (hongbao) containing money to children and loved ones.

“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 Larry Muñoz, acting vice president, Pacific Area Operations, who dedicated the stamp. “As you use these beautiful stamps to mail your letters and packages, it is our wish that the “Year of the Dog” brings each of you good health, great joy and much prosperity.”

Muñoz was joined at the stamp dedication by Douglas D.L. Chong, president, Hawaii Chinese History Center; and Pamela Young, “Mixed Plate,” KHON2-TV.

The Postal Service introduced this Celebrating Lunar New Year series in 2008 and will continue the series through 2019 with a stamp for the Year of the Boar. This is the second series honoring Lunar New Year.  The first ran in 1992 to 2007. Year of the Dog is being issued as a souvenir sheet of 12 self-adhesive Forever stamps. The public is asked to share the news of the stamp using the hashtag #LunarNewYear.

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 common ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday. The Year of the Dog illustration, originally created using oil paints on panel, depicts an arrangement of lucky bamboo (Dracaena braunii). To the right is a lozenge-shaped piece of red paper with the Chinese character fu, meaning good fortune, rendered in calligraphy — a common decoration on doors and entryways during Lunar New Year festivities.

Kessler’s stamp design also incorporates two elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps: Clarence Lee’s intricate cut-paper design of a dog and the Chinese character for “dog,” drawn in grass-style calligraphy by Lau Bun.

Customers may purchase the Year of the Dog Forever stamp at usps.com/stamps, at The
Postal Store usps.com/shop, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Office facilities nationwide. A variety of stamps and collectibles also is available at ebay.com/stamps.

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 Office facilities, at The Postal Store usps.com/shop 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:

FDOI - Year of the Dog
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO  64144-9900

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 11, 2018.

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 USA Philatelic Publication and online at usps.com/shop. Customers may register to receive a free USA Philatelic Publication online at usps.com/philatelic.

Philatelic Products
Philatelic products for this stamp issue are as follows: 
564806, Press Sheet with Die-cut, $35.28
564810, Digital Color Postmark Keepsake (2 panes), $13.95.
564816, First-Day Cover, $0.93.
564821, Digital Color Postmark, $1.64.
564824, Framed Art, $39.95.
564830, Ceremony Program, $6.95.

Many of this year’s other stamps may be viewed on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps or via Twitter @USPSstamps.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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