New Issue: Canada Post, India Post mark Diwali with joint release

Joint stamp issue a historic first for these two postal services

Canada Post and India Post have come together for a joint issue in celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, which is an important annual observance for many Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains in Canada and around the world.

The joint stamp issue is a historic first between the two postal services and reflects Canada’s diversity in the year of Canada 150. The stamps were unveiled today 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,” said Chopra. “It is fitting that this historic first joint issue celebrates the strong relationship between Canada and India.”

Canada Post also issued this international-rate stamp honouring Diwali, the Festival of Lights.

DIWALI, OCT. 19-23

The two domestic-rate stamps are available in Canada about a month ahead of Diwali celebrations, which will be held from Oct. 19-23.

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, and 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 colourful geometric rangoli patterns to decorate entrances. Families and friends also share sweets and gifts with one another and with those in need.

STAMP DESIGNS

India Post issued this domestic stamp.

The stamp with the red background is the Canadian design while the stamp with the gold background was designed by India Post. The souvenir sheet has a Canadian international rate stamp and an Indian stamp.

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. They are printed in five colours plus a varnish, and are available in booklets of 10 stamps. An official first-day cover was cancelled in Toronto.

India Post also issued this international stamp.

RELIGIOUS STAMPS

The Diwali stamps are among several philatelic issues that reflect Canada’s religious diversity 150 years after Canadian Confederation. They include Canada Post’s annual Christmas stamps, one of which features a Christian image while another depicts a secular holiday theme.

In May, the Crown corporation’s Eid stamp recognized Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, two important festivals for Canada’s more than one million Muslims and those worldwide.

This December, a Hanukkah stamp will recognize the Jewish faith’s eight-day celebration.

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