U.S. Postal Service honors Diwali with a 'Forever Stamp'

August 25, 2016


To commemorate the Hindu festival-Diwali, the U.S. Postal Service is releasing a  Forever stamp. Regarding this, the first day of issue dedication ceremony will take place on October 5th, at the Consulate General of India, New York. This Forever stamp will even be equal in value to the current First Class Mail 1-ounce price.

Coming to the stamp design, it has a photograph, witnessing a traditional diya lit oil lamp, sitting on a sparkling gold background. These lamps are generally made from clay with cotton wicks dipped in a clarified butter known as “ghee” or in vegetable oils. During Diwali, the flickering oil-wick diyas sprinkle the homes of observers around the world. 

Diwali that spans five days each autumn, celebrates the triumph of good over evil. This festival will even be considered as the start of the new year in Gujarat and few other states in India.

According to the Hindu calendar, Diwali falls on the eve of, or on, the new moon that occurs between mid-October and mid-November. In 2016, the main day of the festival will be celebrated October 29th for South Indians and its October 30th for North Indians.

The shortened version of Sanskrit word 'Deepavali', is Diwali, which roughly means “a necklace of lights.” Just before the festival, several Hindus as a tradition, go for the shopping, clean their homes, create intricate rangoli- a vibrant floor pattern traditionally made from materials such as rice powder, colored sand and flower petals — and light diyas, with the indication of inviting  Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, into the house.

Believing in the Hindu lore, as Lord Shiva did, in few regions of India, people play games. On the main day of the festival, people pray for Lakshmi, dressing up in new clothes and enjoys lavish feasts and sweets, exchange gifts and light fireworks. Even the followers of the Jain and Sikh faiths celebrate Diwali as a major holiday. 

Sally Andersen-Bruce of New Milford, CT, photographed the diya. Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, VA, designed the stamp and William J. Gicker of Washington, DC, service as the project’s art director.

Annually, the Postal Service approximately receives 40000 suggestions for stamp ideas from the public, which will be reviewed by the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee. 

Among those, the Committee selected around 25 topic suggestions for commemorative stamps for the Postmater General’s approval.

Visit this link for information on upcoming stamp events.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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