New stamp celebrates the Jewish Festival of Lights
The contemporary illustration reflects the joyful spirit of Hanukkah
OTTAWA – Today Canada Post launched the fifth stamp in its ongoing series celebrating Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. The new stamp reflects the joyful spirit of the festival through a vibrant, contemporary interpretation of the flames on an eight-branched menorah.
Hanukkah is one of the more widely embraced celebrations in the Jewish calendar. An opportunity for reflection and a celebration of triumph and tenacity, it commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Jewish people reclaimed it from their oppressors around 165 BCE.
According to Jewish tradition, the Temple’s menorah was to burn continuously, but there was enough oil to last only one day. Miraculously, it lasted the eight days needed to harvest, press and transport a fresh supply of oil.
This miracle is commemorated through the kindling of a special Hanukkah menorah known as a hanukkiyah – a candelabrum bearing a row of eight candle or oil holders. Each evening an additional light is kindled using the shamash (helper candle).
Designed by Andrew Lewis, the stamp was cancelled in Montréal on November 7, in advance of Hanukkah, which this year takes place from nightfall December 18 to nightfall December 26.