Canada Post releases Hanukkah stamp recognizing eight-day Festival of Lights

November 13, 2017
2 minute read

Canada Post releases Hanukkah stamp recognizing eight-day Festival of Lights

Canada Post will introduce a stamp recognizing Hanukkah, the Jewish faith’s eight-day celebration also known as the Festival of Lights. The stamp’s geometric design represents the different types of menorahs, along with a strong contrast between light and dark, which creates the appearance of flickering flames. The shamash, or the “helper candle” used to light the other eight candles in the menorah is topped with a stylized Star of David-shaped flame.

Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev, the ninth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. This year, the festival takes place from sunset on December 12 to nightfall on December 20. The stamp was unveiled at the Starry Nights event held at the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library and hosted by Ve’ahavta, a Jewish charitable organization delivering programs that alleviate poverty. The stamp will be available for sale, starting online on November 20, 2017

Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site, in the second century BCE, after the Maccabees regained religious freedom. The Temple menorah (a seven-branched candelabra) was supposed to stay lit at all times. However, there was only enough oil to last one day, and it would take eight days to harvest and press the olives, and transport the oil to replenish the supply. Miraculously, that small amount burned for the next eight days, which is why the kindling of a menorah, adding a light each day, is central to the eight-day Hanukkah celebrations.

In May, Canada Post issued an Eid stamp to recognize two important festivals celebrated by Muslims in Canada and worldwide. In September, Canada Post and India Post partnered on a historic joint stamp issue featuring two stamps marking Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. The Hanukkah, Eid and Diwali stamps, as well as our Christmas stamps, depict our pride in Canada being a land of enormous diversity.