Mint set of four gummed stamps.
Diwali is the most celebrated Hindu festival in New Zealand. It is known as the 'festival of lights', and symbolises the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and hope over despair. For some, it is the end of the harvest season and the start of a new year. Featured here is a Rangoli decoration, and each the four stamps represents one of the ways in which Diwali is celebrated.
The first of the five days of Diwali is Dhanteras (Dun-te-rus), a day spent shopping for gold or silver, new clothing and gifts. The following day is spent decorating the home to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi (depicted here) who brings good fortune and prosperity. The third and main day of the festival usually includes a feast and fireworks, with prayers to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. Day four is dedicated to visiting friends and family, distributing trays of mithai (mee-tay) - sweets – and exchanging gifts. Bhai Dhooj, dedicated solely to the strong bond between a brother and a sister, marks the end of Diwali.
The true essence of Diwali is in finding positivity in the moment and being grateful for health and happiness. Large-scale celebrations aren't necessary; what's important is cherishing time spent with those close to you.
Customarily, houses and shops are decorated with small earthenware oil lamps called diya (dee-aa). Diyas are placed in rows along windowsills and doorways to help guide Lakshmi, the Goddess of luck and prosperity, into their homes.
During Diwali, friends and family get together and celebrate through worship, lights, festive food and fireworks that symbolically light up the night sky.
This Indian sweet is a favourite treat served during Diwali and often given as an offering to Lakshmi.
Rangoli (rung-oh-lee), a colourful sand art hand designed on the ground, is used to decorate the home during Diwali. It is believed that a household with a clean entrance and rangoli décor will welcome the Goddess Lakshmi into the home, bringing with her good fortune and prosperity.
|Date of issue:||7 October 2021|
|Number of stamps:||Four gummed|
|Denominations:||$1.50, $2.80, $3.60 & $4.10|
|Designed and illustrated by:||John Morris, New Zealand Post, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Printer and process:||Southern Colour Print, New Zealand by lithography|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours|
|Stamp size and format:||35mm x 34.55mm|
|Miniature sheet size and format:||150mm x 90mm|
|Paper type:||Tullis Russell 106gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||25|
|Perforation gauge:||14.286 x 13.895|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint blocks may be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks are available in A and B formats.|
|Period of sale:||Unless stocks are exhausted earlier, these stamps will remain on sale until 6 October 2022. First day covers will remain on sale until 5 December 2021.|