The U.S. Postal Service will release a special Diwali Forever stamp this October, to commemorate the festival, which is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, as well as some Buddhists to mark the victory of good over evil. In a press statement on Tuesday, the American government announced that the stamp would be released on Wednesday, 5 October, and that the first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony will take place at the Indian Embassy in New York City.
Diwali falls on 30 October, 2016 this year.
The stamp shows a traditional earthen diya lit in a gold background. The photo used in the stamp has been taken by Sally Andersen-Bruce of New Milford, Connecticut and designed by Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, Virginia. William J. Gicker of Washington, DC, was the project's art director.
As the Diwali stamp will be issued as a Forever stamp, it will be equal in value to the current First Class Mail 1-ounce price, according to the press statement. Forever stamps are immune to the future increase in price of stamps, as it is always equal to the current value of a stamp, no matter when it was bought.
According to the statement, the postal services department "receives approximately 40,000 suggestions for stamp ideas annually from the public", and about 25 such suggestions are chosen by the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee for the Postmaster General's approval.
(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article referred to Diwali as a Hindu festival. It is also celebrated by Sikhs, Jains, and some Buddhists. The piece has been updated to reflect this change. The error is regretted.)