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Lunar New Year: Year of the Rat (2020) Forever® Stamp

The first animal in the zodiac calendar, rats are considered to be clever, self-aware, and highly social.

In 2020, the U.S. Postal Service issues the first of 12 stamps in the third Lunar New Year series. The Year of the Rat begins January 25, 2020, and ends on February 11, 2021.

Utilizing blue as the predominant color—said to be one of the lucky colors for individuals born during the Year of the Rat—the rat mask in the stamp design incorporates elements with symbolic meaning. Several of the patterns were created with the style of Asian textiles in mind and the circle in the center of the rat’s head represents the new moon on which the Lunar New Year begins. A pop of the very lucky color red ties the design in with other common celebratory decorations.

The rat is the first of the 12 zodiac animal signs associated with the Chinese lunar calendar. Many ancient fables and legends explain the origin of the zodiac signs. The most common story tells of the animals racing across a river to determine their order in the cycle.

As with other zodiac signs, personality traits and other attributes are often associated with people born in the year of a particular animal. Those born during the Year of the Rat may be seen as very clever, self-aware, and highly social.

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