Let’s welcome the new year—the lunar new year, that is—with a bang! The 2013 Year of the Snake (Forever®) stamp is now available in Post Offices and online. Featuring a bundle of firecrackers colored red for luck, this stamp is the sixth of twelve stamps in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series.
The Lunar New Year is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan, and Mongolian heritage in many parts of the world. Images associated with some of these widespread customs are depicted in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series.
In the United States as elsewhere, the occasion is marked in various ways across many cultures; parades, parties, and other special events are common. Firecrackers, such as those depicted in the Year of the Snake stamp art, are used to scare off evil spirits and welcome this time of renewed hope for the future. Monetary gifts are given to children and others. Lucky foods are eaten—kumquats, for example—and festive lanterns, colored red for luck, are common celebration decorations.
The U.S. Postal Service introduced the Celebrating Lunar New Year series in 2008 with the Year of the Rat. The series will continue through 2019 with stamps for the Year of the Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar.
The Year of the Snake begins February 10. How will you celebrate?