StampNews.com is excited to let our readers know that 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 (consisting of two items) 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; His Excellency, Mr. Vikas Swarup, the High Commissioner of India to Canada; and His Worship John Tory, Mayor of Toronto.
“The Diwali stamps express our pride in Canada being a land of diverse faiths, customs and celebrations,” says Mr. Deepak Chopra. “It is fitting that this historic first joint issue celebrates the strong relationship between Canada and India.”
About a month ahead of Diwali celebrations, which will be held from October 19 to 23, two domestic-rate stamps are available in Canada. A stamp with a red background is the Canadian design, while one with a gold background was designed by India Post. The souvenir sheet has a Canadian international rate stamp and an Indian stamp.
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, while 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.