The planned release date for this stamp was moved forward by a week to resolve a design issue with the stamp's booklet. The original release date was supposed to be November 14, 2017.
This Hanukkah stamp, honouring the Jewish Festival of Lights, is the third issue in 2017 to mark a cultural celebration that is special to many Canadians. It follows our issue this year of the Eid and Diwali stamps.
Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar, which usually falls in November or December in Canada (this year, it takes place from December 12 to 20). The festival commemorates the rededication of Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple in Jerusalem, following the triumph of the Maccabees in their fight for religious freedom, circa 165 BC. As the story goes, although there was only enough oil in the Temple menorah to burn for one day, it miraculously lasted for eight. As such, the eight-day kindling of a menorah, adding a light each day with a shamash candle, is central to Hanukkah celebrations.
According to Entro designer Angela Carter, the geometric design represents the different types of menorahs, those burning oil and candles, along with a strong contrast between light and dark, which creates the appearance of flickering flames. The shamash is topped with the Star of David.