The Lunar New Year stamp images were created by stamp designer Clarence Lee, of Honolulu, HI. Lee created intricate paper-cut designs for all of the 12 animals associated with the Chinese lunar calendar. The calligraphic characters used for this souvenir sheet were drawn by Lau Bun, also of Honolulu. The characters in the individual stamps identify the Year of the Dog, Rat, Tiger, and so on. The characters on the selvage to the left of the souvenir sheet may be translated as "Happy New Year!" The same greeting appears in English at the top of the sheet.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian heritage. In observance of this holiday, the U.S. Postal Service issued the first of 12 stamps in its award-winning Lunar New Year series in 1992. In succeeding years, additional stamps were issued until all 12 animals associated with the Chinese lunar calendar were represented.
In chronological order, the stamps in the series marked the Year of the Rooster, Dog, Boar, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram and Monkey. People born in the year of a particular animal are said to share the characteristics of that animal.
Also called the Spring Festival, the traditional Chinese New Year is a time of renewed hope for a prosperous future. The twelve colorful stamps in this series are gathered together for one stunning souvenir sheet.