On January 8, 2009, in New York, New York, the US Postal Service issued the 42-cent Celebrating Lunar New Year in a commemorative sheet of twelve stamps. Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland, designed the stamp.

The USPS introduced its Celebrating Lunar New Year series in 2008. This was the second stamp in that series, which will continue through 2019 with stamps for the Year of the Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar. In 2008, a stamp depicting festive red lanterns was issued to mark the Year of the Rat.

Art Director Ethel Kessler and artist Kam Mak, who grew-up in New York City's Chinatown and now lives in Brooklyn, decided to focus on some of the common ways the Lunar New Year holiday is celebrated. To commemorate the Year of the Ox, which began January 26, 2009, they chose a lion head of a type often worn by celebrants at parades and other festivities. Kessler's design also incorporates elements from the previous series of Lunar New Year stamps, using Clarence Lee's intricate paper-cut design of an ox and the Chinese character drawn in grass-style calligraphy by Lau Bun for "Ox."

Banknote Corporation of America/SSP, Browns Summit, North Carolina, printed 60 million stamps in the offset process with microprinting "USPS."

Reference: Postal Bulletin, December 4, 2008.

Scott Catalogue USA: 4375

Copyright United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.

Museum ID: 2009.2029.26


  • Title: 42c Year of the Ox stamp
  • Creator: United States Postal Service
  • Date Created: 2009-01-08
  • Subject Keywords: Year of the Ox, stamp
  • Medium: paper; ink (multicolored) / lithographed

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