Year of the Tiger Stamp Celebrates Lunar New Year

January 19th, 2010

The U.S. Postal Service has issued the third of 12 stamps in its Celebrating Lunar New Year series, which began in 2008 with the Year of the Rat. The Year of the Tiger begins on Feb. 14 and ends on Feb. 2, 2011.

Art director Ethel Kessler worked on the new series with illustrator Kam Mak, an artist who grew up in New York City's Chinatown and now lives in Brooklyn. They decided to focus on some of the common ways the Lunar New Year Holiday is celebrated. To commemorate the Year of the Tiger, they chose narcissus flowers, considered auspicious at any time of year and thus especially appropriate at this time of renewed hope for the future. "Being a Chinese American and having celebrated Lunar New Year all his life," Kessler says, "Kam is uniquely able to show how this holiday is observed in America." The illustration was originally created using oil paints on a fiberboard panel.