Feb. 16, 2018 ushers in the Year of the Dog and to celebrate, the U.S. Postal Service has released a special commemorative stamp.

The Year of the Dog Forever stamp features a lucky bamboo arrangement and a piece of red paper with the Chinese character “fu,” which means good fortune.

It also incorporates two elements from previous Lunar New Year stamps: an intricate cut-paper design of a dog created by the late Clarence Lee, a prominent local graphic artist, and the Chinese character for “dog.”

The stamp was unveiled Thursday in Hawaii during a special ceremony at Chinatown Cultural Plaza hosted by our own Pamela Young.

“I’m proud to say our stamp program demonstrates our country’s deep regard for its complex and multifaceted heritage,” said Larry Munoz Jr., USPS vice president of operations for the Pacific area. “As the most important holiday for the many Asian communities, it’s an auspicious time to reconnect with family, a time to share traditional meals together, a time for reflection and renewal.”

“The three stalks of the bamboo are very sacred, because three is a magic number in Chinese. It represents heaven, earth, and water,” explained Douglas Chong, Hawaii Chinese History Center president. “The red cord right in the middle signifies joy, rebirth, and it ties and entwines us together in peace and cooperation, anchoring us firmly to the middle of the earth.”

The U.S. Postal Service introduced its Celebrating Lunar New Year series in 2008. The series will continue through 2019 with a stamp for the Year of the Boar.