World Stamps

UNPA to celebrate Year of the Dragon Jan. 19

Jan 1, 2024, 1 PM
The United Nations Postal Administration celebrates the Year of the Dragon with a pane of 10 stamps and labels to be issued Jan. 19. The Year of the Dragon will officially begin Feb. 10, 2024, and end Jan. 28, 2025.

By David Hartwig

The United Nations Postal Administration will issue a pane of 10 stamps and 10 labels Jan. 19 to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.

The stamps are denominated $1.50 for use from the post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City. At the time of issue, the denomination will satisfy the United States Postal Service’s international letter and postcard rates. Both rates will increase to $1.55 on Jan. 21.

The stamps show an intricate dragon winding its way through flowers, smoke and fire. The year date is inscribed in a lower corner of the stamps, with the denomination and Chinese calligraphy in the upper corners.

The pane of 10 Year of the Dragon stamps is perforated vertically down the middle and presents five stamps showing the dragon facing right and five showing the dragon facing left. Larger, mirrored versions of the part of the design featuring the dragon’s head are in the selvage to the left and right of the stamps.

English text states “Chinese Lunar Calendar” and “Year of the Dragon 2024” next to Chinese calligraphy on both sides of the top selvage. Copyright dates and text crediting the artist Tiger Pan appear on both sides at the bottom of the pane.

Each of the 10 labels depicts the U.N. logo and can be personalized. To do so, customers can visit UNPA stamp shops at the U.N. offices in New York City; Vienna, Austria; or Geneva, Switzerland; or upload their photos to the UNPA website.

The 2024 pane of 10, which the UNPA calls a “special event sheet,” continues a pane design and format the UNPA began in 2022 for its Lunar New Year stamp series. Chinese artist Tiger Pan (or Pan Hu) has designed all three issues in the series since 2022.

The 2022 stamps for the Year of the Tiger (Scott 1290-1291) show a tiger walking through a thick patch of flora outlined in gold against a white background.

The 2023 Year of the Rabbit stamps (Scott 1309-1310) picture a rabbit imposed over a gold circle surrounded by outlines of decorative shapes.

Pan also illustrated UNPA’s 2018 Year of the Dog stamp pane (Scott 1187).

The Year of the Dragon will officially begin Feb. 10, 2024, and end Jan. 28, 2025. The dragon is the fifth animal sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle, following the rabbit and preceding the snake. The dragon is the only mythical creature in the Chinese zodiac.

Other recent Years of the Dragon were 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952 and 1940.

The UNPA says the dragon represents good luck, strength and health. According to one website, people born in the Year of the Dragon “present themselves as magnificent yet benevolent rulers who’re confident, generous, idealistic, and ambitious.”

Famous people born in the Year of the Dragon include Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon, Michelle Obama and Vladimir Putin.

Cartor Security Printing of France printed the Year of the Dragon stamps in 24,000 panes of 10. The stamps measure 40.6 millimeters by 29.8mm, and the labels are 26.6mm by 29.8mm.

For ordering information for the Year of the Dragon stamps, visit the UNPA online; send an email to; or write to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900.”

More details will be published throughout the year, the press release said. The 2024 program is tentative and subject to change.

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