Tuesday, October 4, 2016

USPS has holiday stamps galore!

This fall and winter, the U.S. Postal Service is offering a variety of holiday stamps for all sorts of celebrations! On Thursday, the new Holiday Windows stamps will be issued, and on Monday the new Kwanzaa stamp was released.

The Holiday Windows stamp booklet has four designs featuring a candle, a wreath, a star and a lighted tree. Two stamps show a scene looking out a window, and two show a scene looking in. They join the Songbirds in Snow, showing winter's beauty.

The Kwanzaa stamp  honors the 50th anniversary of the annual non-religious holiday, which takes
place over seven days from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, brings family, community, and culture together for many African Americans.

Next month, a new Hanukkah stamp will be issued on Nov. 1. The stamp features a menorah in the window of a home. This year, Hanukkah begins at at sundown on Dec. 24.

Tomorrow, Oct. 5, the U.S. Postal Service will commemorate the festival of Diwali, one of the most important annual Hindu events. The holiday celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Spanning five days each autumn, it is considered by some to be the start of the new year. According to the USPS website, on the Hindu calendar, Diwali falls on the eve of or on the new moon that occurs between mid-October and mid-November. This year, the main day of the festival will be celebrated on Oct. 29 (for South Indians) and Oct. 30 (for North Indians).

Another October holiday is being celebrated with a stamp for the first time this year: Halloween. The stamps feature photos of four different jack-o’-lanterns, symbols of Halloween in the United States since the late 19th century. Halloween is celebrated on Oct. 31. They are on sale now.

Also, for Christmas the Florentine Madonna and Child stamp will be released on Oct. 18. The stamp features a detail of Madonna and Child, a 15th-century tempera-on-panel painting.

Earlier this year, the USPS issued new Eid Greetings stamps in honor of  the two most important festivals — or eids — in the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Fitr was celebrated July 6 in North America and Eid al-Adha was celebrated Sept. 12. In 2017, Eid al-Fitr will be celebrated June 25 in North America and Eid al-Adha will be celebrated Sept. 1. These dates, which are based on geographical location and predicted sightings of the moon, are preliminary and may vary slightly as each festival approaches.

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