The Postal Service will release its Year of the Rat stamp, the first entry in a new Lunar New Year series, on Saturday, Jan. 11.
Lunar New Year, an important holiday for many Asian communities, is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan, Mongolian, Malaysian and Filipino heritage.
The rat is the first of the 12 zodiac animal signs associated with the Chinese lunar calendar. The Year of the Rat begins Jan. 25, and ends Feb. 11, 2021.
The stamp features a rat mask that calls to mind the elaborately decorated masks used in the dragon dance, a hallmark of Lunar New Year parades. The image offers a contemporary take on the long tradition of the paper-cut folk art crafts that are a Lunar New Year hallmark.
Antonio Alcalá, a USPS art director, designed the stamp with original artwork by Camille Chew.
The Postal Service’s two previous Lunar New Year stamp series ran from 1992-2004 and 2008-2019.
The Year of the Rat stamp will be available in panes of 12 at Post Offices and usps.com.