Celebrating Lunar New Year Stamp Series Continues with Year of the Dog

The U.S. Postal Service kicks off its 2018 stamp program in January with a Lunar New Year forever stamp celebrating the Year of the Dog.

The stamp will be formally issued January 11 at the Chinatown Cultural Plaza in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Year of the Dog begins February 16 and ends February 4, 2019.

This is the 11th of 12 stamps in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series, which features primary art from illustrator Kam Mak, a Hong Kong-born artist who grew up in New York City’s Chinatown and now lives in Brooklyn.

The stamps in the current series, designed by Ethel Kessler, also incorporate elements from a previous Lunar New Year series: Clarence Lee’s intricate cut-paper design of a dog, and the Chinese character for “dog,” drawn in grass-style calligraphy by Lau Bun. Those elements graced U.S. Lunar New Year stamps issued found in stamps issued from 1992 through 2004.

The Lunar New Year is the most important holiday of the year for many Asian communities around the world and is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian heritage.

The U.S. Postal Service introduced its Celebrating Lunar New Year series, with stamps featuring artwork from Mak, in 2008. The series will continue through 2019 with a stamp for the Year of the Boar. Year of the Dog is being issued as a souvenir sheet of 12 self-adhesive Forever stamps.

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.

Previous Years of the Dog started in January or February of 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 and 2006.

Have a Ball Stamps June 14 at the 117th U.S. Open Championship in Wisconsin

The U.S. Postal Service will issue June 14 a first-of-a-kind stamps with the look — and feel — of actual balls used in eight popular sports, according to a press release.

The Have a Ball forever stamps depict balls used in baseball, basketball, football, golf, kickball, soccer, tennis and volleyball.

A special coating applied to selected areas of the stamps during the printing process gives them a texture that mimics the feel of a: baseball’s stitching; golf ball’s dimples; tennis ball’s seams; soccer ball or volleyball’s textured panels; and, the different raised patterns of a football, basketball and kickball.

The first-day-of-issuance ceremony will be held at 8 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 14, at the 117th U.S. Open Championship in Hartford, Wisconsin. The ceremony will be part of the U.S. Golf Association’s Flag Day celebration. The Postal Service is honored to be part of this special tribute to those who serve or have served in the military. Nearly one of seven postal employees served in the military.

To attend the standing room only ceremony, you must present a 2017 U.S. Open ticket for June 14, 2017, or a free special access ticket available for request only at usps.com/haveaball. Special access tickets are limited and are only good for June 14, 2017. Confirmed acceptance will be provided and is required for admission. The offer does not apply to U.S. Open ticket holders, active military — who will be admitted free — or children under 12 when accompanied by an adult ticket holder or badge holder.

The eight forever stamps will be issued in panes of 16 that include two stamps of each design. While most traditional stamps are square or rectangular in design, these stamps will be round. Stamp artist Daniel Nyari of Long Island City, New York, and stamp designer Mike Ryan of Charlottesville, Virginia, worked with Art Director Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, Virginia to create the stamp images.