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US issues Year of Rooster Lucky Money

By Chen Weihua in Washington | China Daily USA | Updated: 2016-11-16 11:56

The Chinese Lunar New Year is still more than two months away, but the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) under the US Treasury Department is ready to release its Year of the Rooster 2017 Lucky Money.

The rooster is one of 12 zodiac signs associated with the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The Year of the Rooster 2017 edition, part of BEP's Lucky Money Collection started 16 years ago, is designed with decorative Chinese symbolism and packaged in a symbolic red folder with embossed gold foil.

The product features an uncirculated, $1 Federal Reserve note with a serial number beginning with "8888". The number "8" is regarded as a lucky number in Chinese culture.

"Benjamin Franklin, who is featured on our $100 bill, was a rooster. He was hardworking, resourceful, courageous and talented," said BEP Director Leonard Olijar, reflecting on some of the features Chinese associate with the Year of the Rooster.

"He was talkative, outspoken, honest and loyal," Olijar said.

The rooster occupies the 10th position in the Chinese Zodiac cycle. The upcoming Year of the Rooster starts on Jan 28, 2017, and the celebration usually lasts 15 days until the Lantern Festival on Feb 11.

Olijar described the Year of the Rooster 2017 product as a continuation of the bureau's highly successful Lucky Money Collection. It is the fourth issue from BEP's second generation Lucky Money Lunar Calendar product line. In total, BEP has released 28 products and sold more than 1.8 million items from this collection.

The products go on sale Wednesday. BEP is offering 88,888 Year of the Rooster 2017 products. They cost just $5.95 each when buying fewer than 50. Bulk buyers will get a discount. Online and telephone orders are available in addition to the bureau's gift shop in Washington and in Fort Worth, Texas.

So far, it is the only lucky money BEP has issued, and there have been no other countries contacting the BEP for similar products.

"The Chinese New Year is a very significant celebration across a number of cities throughout the United States," Olijar said.

US issues Year of Rooster Lucky Money 

Leonard Olijar, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing under the US Treasury Department, holds a Year of the Rooster 2017 Lucky Money at a press conference on Tuesday. The product will go on sale Wednesday. Chen Weihua / China Daily

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