Canada Post’s latest stamp honours the eight-day festival of Hanukkah, featuring an illustration of a hanukkiyah (an eight-branched menorah) surrounded by flowers and various elements associated with Hanukkah celebrations.
This is Canada Post’s last stamp issue for 2023.
Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site after the Jewish people reclaimed it around 165 BCE. Legend says the Temple menorah burned for eight days on a day’s worth of olive oil. This miracle of light and faith is commemorated each year through the kindling of a Hanukkah menorah – a candelabrum bearing a row of eight candles or oil holders.
The nightly lighting of a menorah is a central element of Hanukkah celebrations. Fried foods like latkes and jelly doughnuts are also strongly associated with the festival. At the same time, olives, olive branches, and cruses of oil are sometimes used to represent the miracle at the heart of the Hanukkah story.
Giving small amounts of Hanukkah gelt in the form of money or chocolate coins has become a common practice. The Hebrew letters on the four sides of the dreidel, a spinning top children play with during the holiday, stand for the phrase Nes gadol haya sham, which means “A great miracle happened there.”
Designed by Hélène L’Heureux, illustrated by Stephanie Carter and printed by Colour Innovations, the stamp issue includes a booklet of six Permanent domestic rate stamps and an Official First-Day Cover with a Winnipeg, Man., cancel.