US Postal Service to issue a Diwali-themed stamp

The U.S. Postal Service commemorates the Hindu festival of Diwali with a Forever Stamp.

The five-day festival, also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrates the triumph of good over evil and for some marks the start of the new year in the Hindu calendar. The stamp design features a traditional diya lamp atop a gold background.

“This is the successful culmination of a long-sought goal of the Indian American community, behind which Indiaspora and many other people and organizations put in unyielding and resolute effort,” said M.R. Rangaswami, founder of Indiaspora, a group that promotes Indian American culture.

Indiaspora started the Diwali Stamp Initiative earlier in the year and gathered over 100 organizations to petition the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, the committee that oversees the process of issuing stamps.

The Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee receives over 40,000 suggestions for stamps a year, only picking around 20 to send for approval, which came this month.

“This year, Diwali came early!” a celebratory Rangaswami said in a statement.

A first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony will take place at the Consulate General of India in New York on Oct. 5, just in time for Diwali.