San Franciscans can be the first to buy Year of the Rabbit stamps when the United States Postal Service unveils the commemorative postage later this week here in the city.
This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the nation’s first Lunar New Year stamps, which the USPS debuted in 1993.
Claudine Cheng advocated for the Lunar New Year stamp decades ago and said she's delighted to mark the anniversary in the city whose Asian American community fought hard for those first Lunar New Year stamps all those years ago.
“We really would like to have the stamp to honor our culture and our heritage,” Cheng said.
On Thursday, USPS will host a national release ceremony at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum, giving locals a chance to buy the stamps before the rest of the country. The stamps will then be made available for purchase online and in post offices across the country.
“This will be the first time these stamps are available anywhere in the country,” USPS spokesperson Justin Hastings said. “That's a little special thing.”
USPS Gov. Derek Kan is expected to attend the ceremony with state and city officials.
Hastings said USPS printed about 21 million stamps and each sheet of 20 stamps costs $12. About 5,000 sheets will be ready for the San Francisco unveiling.
The colorful stamp features a rabbit face, paper-cut folk art and refers to the “masks used in the dragon or lion dances” in Chinese cultural events, according to USPS.
Other notable Lunar New Year art shows are also now open to the public, including a rabbit sculptures exhibition and the Zodiac Wall at Jack Kerouac Alley in Chinatown.
Han Li can be reached at [email protected]