The final stamp in the current Celebrating Lunar New Year series will be issued January 17 in Houston, Texas, according to a December 13 story by Michael Baadke on the Linn’s Stamp News website:
“A first-day ceremony for the United States nondenominated (50¢) Year of the Boar forever stamp will take place at 11 a.m. Central Standard Time at the Chinese Community Center in Houston, 9800 Town Park Drive.” This information is according to a U.S. Postal Service web page with an “RSVP” form for the event.
The Year of the Pig or Boar is the twelfth animal of the 12-year cycle of creatures that appear in the Chinese zodiac, in turn related to the Chinese calendar. In the Japanese and the Tibetan zodiac, the Pig is replaced by the Boar. Its years include 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019 and 2031.
According to the sages of Wikipedia, those born in the Year of the Pig or Boar are “…most compatible with the Rabbit as they build a harmonious relationship. The gentle and sensitive Goat is also most compatible with the Pig. Also, two Pigs can get along well with each other,” because “they strive for aestheticism, beauty, and a more philosophical, and intellectual approach in life. Their calm nature also gives them great leadership abilities.
“They are artistic, refined, intuitive, intelligent, and well-mannered. These souls love the preliminaries in love, and are fine artists in their lovemaking. The Rabbit, Goat, and Pig have also been bestowed with calmer natures than the other nine signs.
“These three are compassionately aware, yet detached and resigned to their condition. They seek beauty and a sensitive love. They are caring, unique, self-sacrificing, obliging, sensible, creative, empathetic, tactful, and prudent. They can also be naive, pedantic, insecure, cunning, indecisive, and pessimistic.
“The Snake, is said to be the most incompatible with the Pig as the jovial character of the Pig is very opposite from that of the reserved and contemplative Snake.”
We’re not sure about empathetic love-making, but at least three porcine participants on other U.S. stamps have a huge fan following as well as jovial character to spare.
Swine on American stamps began with 34-cent stamps and souvenir panes in 2001 for Porky Pig (Scott 3534-35), who brought down the curtain on the Warner Brothers Cartoon stamp series with his trademark cry, “That’s all, Folks!” Pigs were picked again in 2006 for two of the eight celebrated 39-cent Children’s Book Animals. These featured Wilbur from E.B. White’s beloved 1952 story Charlotte’s Web, and Olivia, both the title and the heroine from the first of 11 books written by Ian Falconer in 2001 for his niece of the same name (Scott 3988, 3993).
The first United States postage stamp issued in conjunction with Chinese New Year was a 29-cent Year of the Rooster stamp issued the day before New Year’s Eve in 1992, Scott 2720, with a colorful design by Clarence Lee. Lee followed with a 29-cent Year of the Dog stamp in February 1994, Scott 2817, and the first U.S. Year of the Boar stamp, also by Lee, another 29c issue at the end of 1994, Scott 2876, for celebrations in 1995.
After Lee completed designs for the full 12-year Lunar cycle, the USPS began issuing 12-stamp sheets showing all the designs together, with each stamp paying the basic domestic first-class letter rate then in effect. This had the effect of creating Year of the Boar stamps with Lee’s same design in denominations of 37 cents in 2005 (Scott 3895l) and 39 cents in 2006 (3997l).
When the Year of the Boar came around again in 2007 the USPS skipped it for some reason, and then began issuing Chinese New Year stamps with non-representational Chinese motifs and a tiny outline of Lee’s animal designs the following year in 2008, the Year of the Rat (Scott 4221). This same pattern continues for 2019, with a hard-to-see miniature of Lee’s stylized 1994 boar in gold in the top-left corner of a stamp mostly devoted to a painting of flowered branches.
Customers have 120 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local post office or at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop. They must affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed and with adequate postage to go to:
FDOI — Year of the Boar Stamp
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by May 17, 2019.