1992 29c Year of the Rooster
Chinese New Year
- First US Chinese New Year Stamp
- Final stamp issued in 1992
Stamp Category: Commemorative
Set: Chinese New Year
Value: 29¢, First-Class Mail rate
First Day of Issue: December 30, 1992
First Day City: San Francisco, California
Quantity Issued: 105,000,000
Printed by: American Bank Note Co.
Printing Method: Offset, engraved
Format: Panes of 20
Why the stamp was issued: The Year of the Rooster stamp, originally called the Happy New Year stamp, was issued for use on New Years greetings. It also commemorated the Chinese New Year, which began January 23, 1993.
About the stamp design: The stamp features a colorful rooster against a red background. It reflects cut paper designs seen in Chinese art. The New Year stamp was issued in anticipation of the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese Zodiac. The artwork displays the talent of Chinese-American artist, Clarence Lee.
Special design details: In addition to the Happy New Year greeting, the stamp also has two characters written in Kanji, a language adapted by the Japanese from Chinese. It is a language that can be read by people of many Asian groups.
First Day City: The First Day of Issue ceremony took place at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Members of the city’s Chinese community spoke at the occasion and the Oriental Horizons Lion Dance Group performed a traditional lion dance.
Unusual facts about this stamp: The Year of the Rooster stamp proved popular, with many post offices selling out their stock quickly. It was the first non-high-value stamp issued in panes of 20, rather than panes of 50. Based on the popularity of this stamp, the US Postal Service issued another Chinese New Year stamp in February 1994.
About the Chinese New Year Set: Because of the popularity of this Year of the Rooster stamp, the US Postal Service decided to issue a set of 12 stamps over 12 years. Each stamp pictured the animal related to that year’s zodiac animal.
History the stamp represents: The Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year marks the beginning of a new year according to the traditional Chinese calendar. It celebrates the end of winter and beginning of spring. An animal is assigned to each year based on a 12-year cycle. People are said to possess characteristics of the animal they were born under.
In many Asian cultures, it is the biggest holiday of the year. Decorations often include the color red, which is considered lucky.