Last month the United States Post Office issued a new Forever stamp in honor of the Hindu holiday Diwali, a celebration of the triumph of good over evil that spans five days each autumn. This year Diwali began on the eve of October 30. Some consider Diwali the start of the New Year.
The Postal Service receives approximately 40,000 suggestions for stamp ideas annually from the public, which are then reviewed by the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee. Only about 25 topic suggestions for commemorative stamps are selected, even fewer earn final approval.
The new Diwali stamp design is a photograph featuring a traditional clay diya oil lamp. These lamps, which burn clarified butter known as “ghee” or vegetable oils, are symbols of hope for wealth and prosperity from the goddess Lakshmi.