The U.S. Postal Service today reissued the Eid stamp in the Holiday Celebrations series.
First issued in 2001, the stamp commemorates the two most important festivals in the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. On these days, Muslims wish each other "eid mubarak," the phrase featured in calligraphy on the stamp, which translates as "blessed festival" or "may your religious holiday be blessed."
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with prayers, feasting, exchanging gifts, and visiting family and friends. Signifying "The Feast of Sacrifice," Eid al-Adha occurs approximately two months and ten days after Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Adha comes at the end of the hajjae, the annual period of pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca and commemorates Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail. The stamp was developed with the help of Muslim consultants and experts in Islamic studies.
Employing traditional methods and instruments to create the stamp's design, Arlington, VA-based calligrapher Mohamed Zakariya chose a script known in Arabic as thuluth and in Turkish as sulus. He describes it as "the choice script for a complex composition due to its open proportions and sense of balance."
Zakariya used homemade black ink, and his pens were crafted from seasoned reeds from the Middle East and from Japanese bamboo from Hawaii. The paper was specially prepared with a coating of starch and three coats of an alum-and-egg-white varnish, then burnished with an agate stone and aged for more than a year. Zakariya's black-and-white design was then colored by computer. The colors chosen for the stamp