1992-2004 Chinese New Year Complete Set
Get All 12 Stamps in One Easy Order!
On December 30, 1992, the USPS issued its first Chinese New Year stamp (#2720) honoring the start of the Year of the Rooster.
The stamp was designed by first-time stamp designer, Clarence Lee from Honolulu, Hawaii. When designing the first stamp of the series, Lee created a unique modern and Chinese design, hence the paper-cut look. It was the last US stamp of 1992, and was extremely popular. Many post offices sold out in just a few days and the stamp was in high demand in Asia.
The 1992 Chinese New Year stamp marked several firsts. In addition to being the first Lunar New Year stamp, it was also the first Happy New Year stamp AND the first non-high-value stamp issued in panes of 20 rather than 50.
When the stamp was first created, the USPS didn’t have plans to begin a new series. But since the Rooster stamp was so popular, the Chinese New Year Series was born – all designed by Lee. The second stamp was issued February 5, 1994 (#2817), and the series continued through 2006. On each stamp of the 12 stamps, a professional calligrapher wrote Kanji characters to state the name of each stamp. Kanji is a Japanese adaptation to Chinese characters and can often be read by a variety of Asian groups from differing countries and cultures.
The USPS released a second Lunar New Year Series in 2008, starting with U.S. #4221
in 2008, which ran until 2019. A third Lunar New Year Series began in 2020, starting with #5428