The U.S. Postal Service will be issuing the Year of the Rooster stamp, the tenth of 12 stamps, in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (719 S. King Street). The Year of the Rooster begins on January 28, 2017 and ends on February 15, 2018.
The people involved in this event include Greg G. Graves, vice president Area Operations – Western Area, United States Postal Service; Yibo Lu, director, Chinese Radio Seattle’s CRS Office; Beth Takekawa, executive director, The Wing Luke Museum; Ron Chew, CEO, Chew Communications; Assunta Ng, founder and publisher, Seattle Chinese Post and Northwest Asian Weekly.
Art director Ethel Kessler worked on the series with illustrator Kam Mak, a Hong Kong-born artist who grew up in New York City’s Chinatown and now lives in Brooklyn. The artwork focuses on some of the common ways the Lunar New Year holiday is celebrated. For the Year of the Rooster, the illustration was originally created using oil paints on panel as a depiction of a colorful rooster emblazoned on a red envelope (hongbao). Parents present red envelopes containing money to children and loved ones during Lunar New Year celebrations. The color red symbolizes luck in Chinese culture, while rooster imagery is often used to ward off evil spirits. The characters at the top of the envelope form a common Chinese greeting of celebration and wish for prosperity and good fortune, used most frequently during Lunar New Year.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian heritage and is the most important holiday of the year for many other Asian communities around the world.