Canada Post and India Post have joined hands to issue stamps in two basic designs that celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, an important annual observance for many Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains in Canada and around the world.
The joint issue is a historic first between the postal services.
The stamps were unveiled today, September 21, in a ceremony at Toronto City Hall by Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra; Vikas Swarup, the high commissioner of India to Canada; and Toronto Mayor John Tory.
“The Diwali stamps express our pride in Canada being a land of diverse faiths, customs and celebrations,” Chopra said. “It is fitting that this historic first joint issue celebrates the strong relationship between Canada and India.”
Canada issued two domestic-rate stamps now available, about a month ahead of Diwali celebrations, which will be held from October 19 to 23. . A stamp with a red background is the Canadian design, while one with a gold background was designed by India Post. The souvenir sheet (shown above) has a Canadian international rate stamp and an Indian stamp.
The designs heavily feature the colors of red and gold and a flame within a candle called a diya.
Diwali, a five-day celebration, begins on the 15th day of Kartika in the Hindu calendar. Its main theme is the triumph of light over darkness. The celebration traditionally includes fireworks. In Canada, people often light candles in their homes, while in India, they light small clay lamps filled with oil; illumination is believed to ward off evil and attract happiness and good fortune. Believers also display colorful geometric rangoli patterns to decorate entrances. Families and friends also share sweets and gifts with one another and with those in need.
The stamps were designed by Doreen Colonello of Entro Communications and India Post, and printed by Lowe-Martin. The Permanent domestic-rate stamps measure 30 mm by 35 mm.