In 2008 the Postal Service began a new series of Lunar New Year stamps. Art Director Ethel Kessler and artist Kam Mak worked on the new series and decided to focus on some of the common ways the Lunar New Year Holiday is celebrated. Some elements of the previous Lunar New Year stamps were incorporated in the new design, including the paper-cut designs of the twelve animals and Chinese calligraphy. This series was issued from 2008 through 2019.
The 2008 Year of the Rat stamp features red lanterns, a common decoration at New Year celebrations.
The 2009 Year of the Ox 42-cent stamp features a lion head of a type worn at parades and other festivities connected with the New Year.
The 2010 Year of the Tiger 44-cent stamp features narcissus flowers, considered auspicious at any time of year and thus especially appropriate at the beginning of a new year.
The 2011 Year of the Rabbit Forever stamp features kumquats, which are eaten for luck and given as holiday gifts.
The Year of the Dragon Forever stamp was issued on January 23, 2012. The stamp art depicts part of a colorful dragon figure of the sort manipulated by dancers welcoming the New Year.
The Year of the Snake Forever stamp was issued on January 16, 2013. In Chinese culture, firecrackers are traditionally used to scare off evil spirits and welcome this time of renewed hope for the future.
The Year of the Horse Forever stamp was issued on January 15, 2014. The stamp art depicts Chinese drums, with drumsticks painted red for luck, of the sort traditionally played to welcome the New Year.
The Year of the Ram Forever stamp was issued on February 7, 2015. The design features the Tray of Togetherness which many families set out to provide guests with an assortment of dried fruits and candies for a sweet beginning to the new year.
The Year of the Monkey Forever stamp was issued on February 5, 2016. As part the new year festivities musicians play drums, often decorated with peonies like those depicted in the stamp art, to celebrate this time of renewed hope for the future.
The Year of the Rooster Forever stamp was issued on January 5, 2017. The illustration depicts a colorful rooster emblazoned on a red envelope. The color red symbolizes luck in Chinese culture, while rooster imagery is often used to ward off evil spirits. The characters at the top of the envelope form a common Chinese greeting of celebration and wish for prosperity and good fortune, used most frequently during Lunar New Year.
The Year of the Dog Forever stamp was issued on January 11, 2018. The illustration, originally created using oil paints on panel, depicts an arrangement of lucky bamboo (Dracaena braunii). To the right is a lozenge-shaped piece of red paper with the Chinese character fu, meaning good fortune, rendered in calligraphy — a common decoration on doors and entryways during Lunar New Year festivities.
The Year of the Boar Forever stamp was issued on January 17, 2019. Bright pink peach blossoms highlight the 2019 Year of the Boar Forever stamp, the 12th and final stamp in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series. The boar, also referred to as a pig, is one of 12 zodiac animal signs associated with the Chinese lunar calendar. Peach blossoms, like those depicted in the stamp art, are of particular significance during this time of year. In China, peach trees typically bloom in early February, just in time for the new year, with the striking pink blossoms marking the beginning of spring.