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Year of Dragon stamp gets roar of approval in US

By Linda Deng in Seattle | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-27 07:15
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The stamp issued by the United States Postal Service to mark the Year of the Dragon. [PHOTO/CHINA DAILY]

On Thursday morning, Jason Sean joined a long line of people eagerly waiting to buy a commemorative Year of the Dragon stamp issued by the US Postal Service.

He was among the hundreds who waited at the International District/Chinatown Community Center in Seattle, Washington, for the first day of the issue ceremony for the stamp. Sean said purchasing stamps to celebrate the Lunar New Year is a tradition in his family.

"For many Asian Americans, the Lunar New Year offers the chance to leave behind the troubles of the past year and invite prosperity and good luck moving forward," said Connie So, a professor at the University of Washington.

"This Year of the Dragon stamp ceremony recognizes the importance of the diversity and cultural significance Asian Americans bring to the United States and provides Seattle an opportunity to promote the significance of the Lunar New Year," So added.

The Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey shows Seattle's Asian population stood at 135,300 in 2022, an increase of around 13,000 from 2021.

For more than three decades, the Postal Service has issued stamps highlighting the Lunar New Year, and it has been some of the most successful stamp releases in the long history of the Postal Service, said Eduardo H. Ruiz Jr, USPS vice-president of retail and delivery operations for the Postal Service's Westpac area, who served as the dedicating official.

"The Postal Service has one of the most diverse workplaces in the United States, and its customer base is as diverse as the country itself. This stamp is a great example that reflects our nation's rich, multicultural heritage and traditions," he added.

"I think we're really unleashing the power of the everyday and the power of the small," said Joel Barraquiel Tan, executive director of the Wing Luke Museum. "Everybody uses stamps. And to have it reflect the tradition of Lunar New Year is pretty incredible. That an object as small as this carries such huge intention, such big impact, is pretty amazing."

The stamp was designed by Antonio Alcala, the USPS art director, with original art by Camille Chew. It features a colorful, three-dimensional mask depicting a dragon, which is a contemporary take on the long tradition of paper-cut folk art crafts created by Chew. Gold and red colors represent prosperity in the coming year and good fortune.

The Year of the Dragon stamp is on sale now at post offices across the US and on In total, 22 million new stamps have been printed.

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