2020 Hanukkah stamp Canada Post’s third since 2017

A Permanent domestic-rate stamp marking Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights, was issued by Canada Post today.

It’s the Crown corporation’s third Hanukkah stamp since 2017. Available in 10-stamp booklets, the 2020 design features a menorah with all nine candles illuminated. It was launched before this year’s celebration – beginning at nightfall on Dec. 10 and lasting eight days – “so Canadians can use it to send holiday greetings,” according to a statement issued today by Canada Post.

Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem around 165 BCE. While tradition dictated the Temple menorah was to burn continuously, only one day’s supply of fuel was left; however, it burned for the eight days necessary to harvest, press and transport a fresh supply of oil.

This miracle of light and faith is celebrated every year through the lighting of a “hanukkiyah” or menorah – a candelabra with a row of candles or oil holders. Each evening, Jewish families kindle an additional light using the “shamash” (helper candle) while reciting blessings and special prayers.

The 2020 Hanukkah official first-day cover (shown) is serviced with a Toronto cancel.

Designed by Gerald Querubin, of Toronto’s Entro Communications, the stamp measures 28 millimetres by 35 millimetres. A total of 120,000 booklets were printed by Toronto’s Colour Innovations using six-colour lithography.

The Hanukkah OFDC also features a menorah with all of its candles illuminated. Serviced with a Toronto cancel, each OFDC measures 190 millimetres by 112 millimetres. A total of 120,000 OFDCs were issued.

On Nov. 16, Canada Post will also begin selling its annual collection, “Collection Canada 2020,” which it calls an “excellent gift for collectors and others who want to know more about the country we call home.” This year’s edition includes 39 mint stamps and protective stamp mounts, images and photographs by Canadian creatives plus a slipcover.

FIRST HANUKKAH ISSUE ‘RECALLED’ IN 2017

The original 2017 Hanukkah booklet (right) depicted the Star of David on the cover. It was replaced with the left side of a menorah on the reprinted version (left).

A day after being unveiled in Toronto and just one day before it was slated to go on sale across the country, Canada Post’s first Hanukkah stamp – issued in 2017 – was removed from display and returned to head office because of what the Crown corporation called “a design issue” with the stamp booklet and OFDC.

“There were no issues with the text or any misspelling,” Canada Post media relations manager Phil Legault told CSN in 2017. “To resolve the design issue, we reprinted the booklet and the first-day cover.”

One of the major design differences noted by CSN was on the booklet cover: the original booklet depicts the Star of David while the reprinted booklet depicts the left-side arms of the menorah, and the star was removed.

“We don’t typically get into details but can confirm that the cover design was changed from the lone image of the lit Shamash to the partial menorah to better reflect the celebration of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights which is the subject of the stamp,” said Legault in 2017. “This stamp will be on sale for the next three years so it was important.”

A Canada Post memo, entitled “IMPORTANT: Stop selling Hanukkah stamp products immediately,” was sent to all dealer post offices on Nov. 13, 2017. Both the booklet and OFDC were ordered to be “immediately removed from display and returned.”

“These products are not to be sold to customers and they are also no longer available through mail order or online,” read the memo, which added the products were to be returned no later than Nov. 22, 2017.

The “reprinted version” of the booklets and OFDC were available online by Nov. 20, 2017.

Canada’s 2019 Hanukkah stamp celebrates the eight-day Jewish ‘Festival of Lights.’

2017 RECALLS AVAILABLE ONLINE

Despite being recalled from all post offices across the country, some of the 2017 Hanukkah booklets and OFDCs were mistakenly sold at post offices before finding their way to eBay.

A recalled OFDC listed in November 2017 by eBay vendor “2014ramne” was offered for $500 while another example was listed by vendor “zmlbil-lcdnl6sh” for $350. That month, a lot of five recalled booklets were also listed by vendor “yabluko7” for $250.

Dozens of eBay listings for recalled booklets and OFDCs remain available this November.

One seller has eight remaining recalled booklets after selling 28 examples. They’re offered for $39.99.

Another seller has one remaining recalled booklet after selling 16 examples. It’s offered for $27.

While booklets abound, the only recalled OFDC currently listed on eBay is offered for $435.

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