Celebrated by Jews around the world, Hanukkah, the joyous Festival of Lights, spans eight nights and days of remembrance and ritual.
Central to the celebration is the hanukiah, a nine-branched menorah used only at Hanukkah. Eight of its branches represent each of the eight nights and days of Hanukkah, and the ninth, the shamash or “the servant,” is used to light the other candles. The stamp art is a photograph of a contemporary forged-iron hanukiah created by Vermont blacksmith Steven Bronstein. Nine lighted white beeswax candles top each of the branches. The word “Hanukkah” is spelled out across the top of the stamp in yellow letters.
Hanukkah is the Hebrew word for “dedication.” Tradition relates how a miracle took place during the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, which had been desecrated. The sacramental oil, thought to be enough for only one day, burned for eight days. The miracle of the oil is at the heart of the ritual of the lighting of the hanukiah.
The celebration of Hanukkah begins on the 25th of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar, a date that falls in late November or December. In 2013, Hanukkah begins at sundown on November 27.
Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamp. George E. Brown was the photographer.
The Hanukkah stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate.
Pane of 20 with plate no.
Block of 10
Block of 4
First Day Cover
Digital Color Postmark First Day Cover
Press Sheet without die cuts
Pane of 20 & Digital Color Postmark First Day Cover