SAN FRANCISCO, CA — In observance of the Chinese New Year, the U.S. Postal Service will commemorate the first day of sale of the Lunar New Year – Year of the Tiger Stamp on Jan. 14, 2010 at the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, 750 Kearny Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108-1809. The public is invited to this free event, which begins at 11:30 a.m.
The 44-cent stamp will go on sale nationwide the same day. This is the third of 12 stamps in the Postal Service’s Celebrating Lunar New Year series, which began in 2008 with the Year of the Rat. The Year of the Tiger begins on Feb. 14 and ends on Feb. 2, 2011.
Art director Ethel Kessler worked on the new series with illustrator Kam Mak, an artist who grew up in New York City’s Chinatown and now lives in Brooklyn. They decided to focus on some of the common ways the Lunar New Year Holiday is celebrated. To commemorate the Year of the Tiger, they chose narcissus flowers, considered auspicious at any time of year and thus especially appropriate at this time of renewed hope for the future. The illustration was originally created using oil paints on a fiberboard panel.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan, and Mongolian heritage in many parts of the world. Parades, parties, and other special events are common. Images associated with some of these widespread customs are depicted in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series.
This is the second time the Postal Service has commissioned a Lunar New Year stamp series. It began its first Lunar New Year stamp series in 1993 in the Year of the Rooster, and completed that 12-year cycle in 2004, in the Year of the Monkey. The current stamp design incorporates elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps. The first series was designed by artist Clarence Lee.
The stamp will be available for purchase in Post Offices, on usps.com, and by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 beginning on Jan. 14, 2010.