UNPA celebrates Diwali

A New York special event sheet commemorating the festival of Diwali, which is being celebrated worldwide this week, was recently issued by the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA).

Diwali, also known as Deepawali, is the joyous and popular “festival of lights,” which begins on the 15th day of Kartika in the Hindu calendar. Held Nov. 5-9 this year, it’s celebrated in India and by followers of many faiths across the world. During the five-day celebration, clay lamps known as “diyas” are lit to signify the victory of good over evil. The festival also symbolizes the start of a new year for many communities.

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.

The UNPA sheet, which has a denomination of $1.15 USD, contains 10 stamps and tabs featuring festive lights and diyas.

The background of the sheet features United Nations Headquarters illuminated with the message of “Happy Diwali” to celebrate the spirit of the festival.

A domestic-rate stamp issued by Canada Post last year (shown above) was part of the Crown corporation’s first joint issue with India Post.


Last year, Canada Post and India Post released joint issue in celebration of Diwali.

“The Diwali stamps express our pride in Canada being a land of diverse faiths, customs and celebrations,” said then Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra. “It is fitting that this historic first joint issue celebrates the strong relationship between Canada and India.”

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