|Date of Issue||January 23, 2012|
First-Class Mail Forever
|Perforation or Dimension||1.56 x 0.98 in./39.62 x 24.89 mm|
|Series||Celebrating Lunar New Year|
|Series Time Span||2010 - 2018|
|Issue Location||San Francisco, CA 94188|
|Postal Administration||United States|
On January 23, 2012, in San Francisco, California, the Postal Service™ will issue a Lunar New Year: Year of the Dragon stamp (Forever® priced at 45 cents) in one design in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 12 stamps. The stamp will go on sale nationwide January 23, 2012.
Dragons aren’t always scary monsters. Consider the colorful creature depicted by the U.S. Postal Service in its 2012 Year of the Dragon stamp, fifth in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series! The Year of the Dragon begins on January 23, 2012, and ends on February 9, 2013.
Across many cultures, in the United States as elsewhere, the Lunar New Year is celebrated in various ways, often with parades and parties. By tradition, dragons are not feared, but are considered magical or divine — welcome symbols at this time of renewed hope for the future. Performing before delighted crowds, skilled teams of dancers manipulate colorful dragon figures such as the one depicted in the stamp art. Lucky foods are eaten — kumquats, for example (issued in 2011) — and given as gifts. Festive lanterns, colored red for luck (issued in 2008), are common decorations at Lunar New Year celebrations, where they are frequently hung in rows.
Combining original artwork by Kam Mak with two elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps — Clarence Lee’s intricate paper-cut design of a dragon and the Chinese character for “Dragon,” drawn in grass-style calligraphy by Lau Bun — art director Ethel Kessler has created a culturally rich stamp design that celebrates the diversity of the American experience.
The Celebrating Lunar New Year stamp for the Year of the Dragon is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.