2018 50¢ Dragons – Wingless Orange Dragon Wrapping Around a Pagoda
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce First-Class Letter Rate (Forever)
Issue Date: August 9, 2018
First Day City: Columbus, Ohio
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset, Hot Foil Stamping
Format: Pane of 16
Quantity Printed: 30,000,000
Dragons have long been a crucial part of Chinese culture. They were once considered gods who controlled various aspects of life. Some early Chinese believed people descended from dragons.
In some areas of China, stories tell that a divine dragon created humans by breathing on monkeys that came to play in his cave. Most dragons in Chinese folklore were wise and benevolent, symbolizing power, strength, and good luck for those who were worthy.
Chinese dragons usually have 117 scales, 81 of which are of positive yang essence, while 36 are of negative yin essence. Most dragons are associated with water and are considered peaceful. However, just as water can destroy, some dragons can cause destruction by floods, tidal waves, and storms.
The Chinese honor four major Dragon Kings, for each of the Four Seas, as well as more than 100 other dragon deities. Among these is the heavenly dragon who guards the skies, a god dragon who controls the weather, and a treasure dragon who guards jewels and is associated with volcanoes. There is also a torch dragon believed to create day and night by opening and closing its eyes and blowing the wind with its breath.
Dragons continue to be popular today. They can be found on Chinese flags and play a prominent role in celebrations, particularly the Chinese New Year.