Year of the Monkey Forever stamp issued by U.S. Postal Service to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year, one of the most popular and exciting holidays of the year.
Year of the Monkey is the ninth of 12 stamps issued by USPS in the Celebrating Lunar New Year stamp series.
USPS commemorative stamp program has celebrated the cultures of people from around the globe — that together reflect the rich and complex heritage of America, since last 123 years.
The Postal Service introduced its Celebrating Lunar New Year stamp series in 2008, which will continue through 2019 with stamps for the Year of the Rooster, Dog and Boar.
Year of the Monkey Forever stamp
The official first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony took place in the D’Angelo Center at St. John’s University – Queens Campus in Jamaica, N.Y.
The beautiful stamp is the work of art director Ethel Kessler along with illustrator Kam Mak, a Hong Kong-born artist who grew up in New York City’s Chinatown.
The stamp artwork focuses on some common ways the Lunar New Year holiday is celebrated.
The Year of the Monkey illustration — originally created using oil paints on panel — depicts two red-orange peonies against a purple background. Peonies symbolize wealth and honour in Chinese culture and often decorate the sides of traditional drums played during the holiday festivities.
The stamp design also incorporates two elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps: Clarence Lee’s intricate cut-paper design of a monkey and the Chinese character for “monkey” drawn in grass-style calligraphy by Lau Bun.
USPS has produce nine philatelic products for the Year of the Monkey Forever stamp issue which can be purchased online at USPS stamp shop.
Celebrating Lunar New Year
The Year of the Monkey begins Feb. 8 and ends Jan. 27, 2017. The monkey is one of the 12 zodiac animal signs associated with the Chinese lunar calendar. According to legend the animals raced across a river to determine their order in the cycle.
People born in the year of a particular animal sign are said to share characteristics with that animal. Individuals born during the Year of the Monkey are said to be clever, wise and honest.
The Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays for many Asian communities around the world. Images associated with some of these widespread customs are depicted in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series.
The occasion is marked in various ways across cultures. Parades feature enormous and vibrantly painted papier-mache dragons. Musicians play drums, often decorated with peonies like those depicted in the stamp art, to celebrate this time of renewed hope for the future, with drumsticks sometimes painted red for luck.
Many families present red envelopes containing money to children and loved ones. People eat foods that bring good luck, such as kumquats and rice cakes, and hang festive lanterns as decoration.
117th Annual Golden Dragon Parade
Since 1898, the Chinese community of Los Angeles has kicked off the Chinese New Year with the annual Golden Dragon Parade and Chinese New Year Festival.
The parade and festival takes place each year on a weekend in February at Central Plaza and West Plaza in LA’s Chinatown. The Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival brings out a crowd of over 100,000.
The parade of 2016 will happen on Saturday, Feburary 13 and starts at Hill Street and Ord Street, winding its way though Chinatown before ending at Broadway and Cesar Chavez.
The 2016 Golden Dragon Parade and Chinese New Year Festival is free, and all ages are welcome to usher in the Chinese New Year in the heart of LA’s Chinatown.
Title: USA Year of the Monkey Forever stamp
Date of Issue: 5 February 2016
Source: US Postal Service