Diwali

Diwali

Forever 55¢

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Issue Date: 10/5/2016

Celebrate the joyous festival of Diwali, which is also known as Deepavali. The Hindu holiday celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

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  • In 2016, the U.S. Postal Service® commemorates the joyous festival of Diwali, which is also known as Deepavali. 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.

    Diwali is a shortened version of the Sanskrit word Deepavali, which roughly translates as a necklace of lights. During Diwali flickering oil-wick lamps called diyas dot the homes of observers around the world. The stamp features a traditional diya against a background of glimmering gold and flower petals.

    The meaning of Diwali often depends on regional identity on the Indian subcontinent, but Hindu stories provide a framework for the significance of the festival. For many people in the north of India, the holiday honors the return of Rama, an incarnation or avatar of the god Vishnu, after a long period of exile. For some in the south of India, it marks the defeat of the demon Narakasura by Krishna, another incarnation of Vishnu. Others commemorate Vishnu's decision to make King Bali ruler of the underworld.

    Before the festival, many Hindus go shopping; clean their homes; open their doors and windows; create intricate rangoli, a vibrant floor pattern traditionally made from materials such as rice powder, colored sand, and flower petals; and light diyas with hopes that Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, will visit. In some regions of India, people gamble and play games, just as Hindu lore says that deity Shiva did. On the festive main day of the holiday, families pray to Lakshmi, dress up in their best clothes, enjoy lavish feasts and sweets, exchange gifts, and light fireworks. Diwali also marks the new year for people in Gujarat and a few other states in India.

    Diwali is an important festival in several religions. Buddhists honor ancient Indian Emperor Ashoka's conversion to Buddhism. Jains commemorate the teacher Mahavira's attainment of liberation from the cycle of life and death. Sikhs celebrate the freeing of guru Hargobind from captivity.

    On 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 on October 29 (for South Indians) and October 30 (for North Indians).

    The Diwali stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. This Forever stamp will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce price.

    Made in the USA

    SKUs featured on this page: 588804

  • Issue:Diwali Stamp
    Item Number:588800
    Denomination & Type of Issue:First-Class Mail, Forever
    Format:Pane of 20 (1 design)
    Series:N⁄A
    Issue Date & City:October 5, 2016, New York, NY 10199
    Art Director:William Gicker, Washington, DC
    Designer:Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
    Typographer:Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
    Photographer:Sally Anderson-Bruce, New Milford, CT
    Modeler:Joseph Sheeran
    Manufacturing Process:Offset, Microprint
    Printer:Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
    Printed at:Williamsville, NY
    Press Type:Muller A76
    Stamps per Pane:20
    Print Quantity:30,000,000 stamps
    Paper Type:Nonphosphored Type III, Block Tag
    Adhesive Type:Pressure-sensitive
    Processed at:Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
    Colors:Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow
    Stamp Orientation:Vertical
    Image Area (w x h):0.77 x 1.05 in⁄19.56 x 26.67 mm
    Overall Size (w x h):0.91 x 1.19 in⁄23.11 x 30.23 mm
    Full Pane Size (w x h):5.55 x 5.76 in⁄140.97 x 146.30 mm
    Press Sheet Size (w x h):22.20 x 11.52 in⁄563.88 x 292.61 mm
    Plate Size:320 stamps per revolution
    Plate Numbers:“P” followed by four (4) digits
    Marginal Markings:
    Front:Plate number (4 locations)
    Back:USPS Logo • Two barcodes (588800) • Copyright date • Plate block • Promotional text

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