29¢ Year of the Dog
Chinese New Year
Issue Date: February 5, 1994
City: Pomona, CA
Printed By: J.W. Fergusson & Sons for Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Celebrated with fireworks, food, and family reunions, the Chinese New Year falls between January 21 and February 19, and is symbolized by one of the twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac. The Year of the Dog is the eleventh year in the cycle.
Artist Clarence Lee of Honolulu, Hawaii based his design on the Pekingese, the royal dog of China. Regarded as sacred, the dog was kept as royal dog of the Imperial Palace, and could only be owned by those of royal blood. Following the British invasion of Beijing (Peking) in 1860, the Pekingese was brought to England.
When the Chinese New Year stamp celebrating the Year of the Rooster was issued in 1992, collectors wondered if the Postal Service was beginning a new series. The Postal Service responded, saying if the new stamp was popular they might consider issuing the entire twelve-year cycle.
Based on Chinese paper cut-outs, the rooster stamp was popular. In fact, the post office servicing San Francisco’s Chinatown sold nearly two million stamps in the month of January alone. In 1994 the series continued with the issue of this stamp commemorating the upcoming New Year, the Year of the Dog.