Official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

2021 Shubh Diwali

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Issue information

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.

Single stamps

Single stamps in this issue are:

$1.50 Diya

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.

$2.80 Fireworks

During Diwali, friends and family get together and celebrate through worship, lights, festive food and fireworks that symbolically light up the night sky.

$3.60 Rangoli

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.

$4.10 Laddu

This Indian sweet is a favourite treat served during Diwali and often given as an offering to Lakshmi.

Product listing for 2021 Shubh Diwali

Take a look at our other collectables that are still on sale. Click here.

Image Title Description Price
2021 Shubh Diwali First Day Cover | NZ Post Collectables First Day Cover First day cover with four gummed stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $12.50
2021 Shubh Diwali Miniature Sheet First Day Cover | NZ Post Collectables Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with gummed miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue.


Technical information

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 remained on sale until 5 December 2021.