By Michael Baadke
The nondenominated (47¢) Hanukkah forever stamp that will be issued Nov. 1 is the 12th United States stamp honoring the Jewish holiday also known as the Festival of Lights, and will feature the sixth new design in the series.
The stamp is being issued in a pane of 20. The first-day ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at Temple Beth El, 333 SW Fourth Ave., in Boca Raton, Fla. The ceremony is free and open to the public. The temple notes that the ceremony will include Chanukah musical performances by the temple’s cantorial team and children of the Beth El Early Learning Center.
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“The 2016 Hanukkah stamp features a warm, elegant illustration of a holiday menorah in the window of a home,” according to the U.S. Postal Service. “Artist William Low added visual interest to the scene by highlighting the contrast between the hot candle flames and the cool snow, the vertical candles and the horizontal window frame, and the dark menorah with brightly lit candles.”
Low also illustrated the Holiday Windows set of four stamps issued Oct. 6, which are stylistically similar to the new Hanukkah stamp. He also illustrated the two 2013 Poinsettia forever stamps (Scott 4816, 4821), and the 2014 Winter Flowers set of four forever stamps (Scott 4862-4865).
Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days; the holiday commences this year at sunset on Dec. 24. Traditions associated with the holiday include lighting the menorah, singing songs, giving gifts to children, and playing games with the dreidel, a four-sided spinning toy.
Along with the stamp pane, the Postal Service is also offering an unspecified number of press sheets containing 160 die-cut stamps (eight panes).
Technical details and first-day cancel ordering information for the Hanukkah forever stamp can be found below.
Scott No. 3118 - 1996 - 32¢ Menorah, multicolor candles, white background
Scott No. 3352 - 1999 - 33¢ Menorah (same)
Scott No. 3547 - 2001 - 34¢ Menorah (same)
Scott No. 3672 - 2002 - 37¢ Menorah (same)
Scott No. 3880 - 2004 - 37¢ Dreidel with lettering behind
Scott No. 4118 - 2006 - 39¢ Dreidel (same)
Scott No. 4219 - 2007 - 41¢ Dreidel (same)
Scott No. 4372 - 2008 - 42¢ Dreidel (same)
Scott No. 4433 - 2009 - 44¢ Menorah, gradient white to blue background
Scott No. 4583 - 2011 - [forever] Colorful boxes spell out “Hanukkah”
Scott No. 4824 - 2013 - [forever] Menorah, brown background
Scott No. TBD - 2016 - [forever] Menorah, blue background of trees at night
FIRST DAY— Nov. 1, 2016; city— Boca Raton, Fla., and nationwide.
DESIGN: artist — William Low, Huntington, N.Y.; designer, art director and typographer— Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, Md.; modelers— Sandra Lane and Michelle Finn.
PRINTING: process— offset with microprinting; printer and processor— Banknote Corporation of America, Browns Summit, N.C.; press— Alprinta 74; inks— cyan, magenta, yellow, black, Pantone Matching System 7443 lavender; paper— phosphor tagged, overall tagging; gum— self-adhesive; issue quantity— 15 million stamps; format— pane of 20, from 320-subject cylinders; size— 1.05 inches by 0.77 inches (image); 1.19 inches by 0.91 inches (overall); 5.64 inches by 5.43 inches (pane); 22.54 inches by 10.85 inches (press sheet); plate numbers— “B” followed by five single digits; marginal markings— Plate numbers (front); “©2015 USPS,” USPS logo, plate position diagram, barcode (559900) in two positions, promotional text (back); USPS item No.— 559904.
Standard ordering instructions apply. Collectors requesting first-day cancels are encouraged to purchase their own stamps and affix them to envelopes. The first-day cover envelopes should be addressed for return (a removable label may be used), and mailed in a larger envelope addressed to Hanukkah Stamp, Stamp Fulfillment Services, Cancellation Services, 8300 NE Underground Drive, Pillar 210, Kansas City, MO 64144-9998.
Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by Jan. 1, 2017.
The Postal Service’s uncacheted first-day cover for the Hanukkah stamp is item 559916 at 91¢. USPS item numbers for stamps and FDCs also appear in Linn’s 2016 U.S. Stamp Program.