World Stamps

Canada Post continues Eid series with April 3 stamp

Mar 16, 2023, 8 AM
Canada Post’s new Eid stamp shows a ceramic bowl crafted in Iran nearly 700 years ago. Issued April 3 in a booklet of six, the stamp celebrates the Islamic festivals of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

By David Hartwig

Canada Post stamp commemorates Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, the two most important festivals in the Islamic calendar, with an April 3 stamp.

This nondenominated permanent-rate (currently 92¢) Eid stamp is sold in booklets of six.

The stamp shows a hand-painted ceramic bowl crafted in medieval Iran nearly 700 years ago and housed in the Royal Ontario Museum collection since 1909. Middle Eastern potters made the bowl out of stone paste, a hard material composed of ground quartz, glass and clay.

“There’s a deep sense of humanity in this bowl that still rings true, especially with all the turmoil in the world today,” Fahmida Suleman, curator of Islamic art and culture for the Royal Ontario Museum, said in Canada Post’s Details magazine for stamp collectors.

Suleman discussed the use of color on the bowl, “Blues are auspicious in Islam, so even the colours the artist chose were meant to uplift the soul.”

The color blue also appears in the upper section of the stamp above calligraphy reading “Eid Mubarak,” a traditional Arabic greeting that means “have a blessed Eid.”

While it cannot be seen on the stamp, the inside of the bowl contains an inscribed poem. The stamp booklet includes translations from a line of the poem, “May you enjoy whatever you eat from this bowl,” and one side of Canada Post’s official first-day cover for the stamp gives a translation of the entire poem.

“The poem urges us to take a moment to forget our sorrows and be grateful for what we have — and wishes us protection and a bit of luck,” Suleman said.

Canada Post said the bowl, made during Ramadan, “would likely have served many owners over the centuries as a vessel for foods eaten to break the fast each night.”

During Ramadan, one of the holiest months in the Islamic calendar, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset. “This ritual fasting is both an act of worship and a form of self-purification and spiritual growth,” Canada Post said.

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