US #5254 – Year of the Dog
2018 49c Lunar New Year
Value: 49¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate- Forever
Issued: January 11, 2018
First Day City: Honolulu, HI
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Format: Pane of 12
Quantity Printed: 15,000,000 stamps
February 16, 2018, marked the beginning of the Year of the Dog in the Chinese Lunar New Year. The dog is the eleventh animal in the Chinese zodiac cycle.
One Chinese zodiac origin story tells the tale of the Jade Emperor calling each animal to compete in a great race across a wide river. The order the animals finished would determine their place in the zodiac. Each animal crossed the river in a unique way. For example, the clever rat rode across on the back of the ox and finished first. The tiger swam across and was followed by the rabbit, who floated the width of the river on a log.
After stopping to make rain for the people of earth and help push the rabbit across the river with a puff of wind, the dragon finished fifth. The snake hid on the hoof of the horse and came next. Following the horse were the ram, monkey, and rooster, who crossed the river together on a raft. The dog was one of the best swimmers, but nearly finished last as it could not resist staying to play in the river a little longer. The twelfth animal was the pig, who stopped midway through the race to eat and nap and was nearly left out of the zodiac.
Today, people born in the Year of the Dog are said to be loyal, smart, and sincere, just like the animal itself. For this reason, people born under this sign are believed to be excellent friends and are dependable for life.