Festival of Lights-Deepavali - 5.11.12

Festival of Lights-Deepavali - 5.11.12

Diplomatic relations between India and Israel were established in the year 1992. A set of two stamps is being issued by both the countries to mark the completion of twenty years of diplomatic relations. The stamps depict the two festivals of lights, Deepavali and Hanukkah.

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Technical Data

Date of issue : 05.11.2012

Denomination : 500, 500p

Printing process : Wet Offset

No: printed : 0.2 million each

Designed and Printed at : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad

 

Diplomatic relations between India and Israel were established in the year 1992. A set of two stamps is being issued by both the countries to mark the completion of twenty years of diplomatic relations. The stamps depict the two festivals of lights, Deepavali and Hanukkah.

Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated on the new moon day in the month of ‘Kartik’ of the Indian lunar calendar which falls in late October or early November. It is a Hindu festival symbolizing the victory of righteousness over evil and is celebrated all over India. The word ‘Deepavali’ literally means ‘rows of lamps’. Deepavali commemorates the return of Lord Rama, along with wife Sita and young brother Lakshmana, from his fourteen years long exile after vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. It is said that in joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas. The festival continues to be a joyous occasion and is celebrated by cleaning, decorating and lighting homes, shops, business establishments and market places, greeting friends and relatives, exchanging and distributing sweets and bursting fire crackers.

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BC. The Babylon Talmud (Tractate Shabbat 21b) describes how the Maccabees found only a little pure oil, enough to light the Temple menorah for a single day. A miracle occurred and this oil lasted for eight days, until more oil could be prepared. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar as a reminder of this miracle. It is customary to light candles in windows or doorways on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah to make this miracle known. The candles are lit in a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night.

Like the diyas of Deepavali, the Hanukkah candles symbolize the triumph of good over evil and the victory of justice over injustice.

As Israel and India celebrate twenty years of diplomatic relations, the relationship between the two countries continues to develop and grow.

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