OTTAWA – Canada Post today issued an Eid stamp that recognizes Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, two of the most important festivals celebrated by Muslims in Canada and worldwide.
The stamps were unveiled at events with members of the Muslim communities in Montréal, Que. and Richmond Hill, Ont. Montréal and the Greater Toronto Area are home to more than half of Canada’s over 1 million Muslims.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the month in which Muslims fast from dawn until dusk – one of the most distinctive practices of Islam. Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast, falls on the first day of the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, Shawwal (around June 26, 2017, in Canada). The stamp is being issued a month ahead of Eid al-Fitr. On the day of Eid, many Muslims congregate in mosques or in open spaces, where they will perform a special ritual prayer prescribed for Eid. People dress in their finest clothes, decorate their homes with lights, give treats to children, and visit with friends and family.
With Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice, Muslims commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. The festival also marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest site in Islam. It falls on the tenth day of the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar, Dhul Hijjah (around September 2, 2017, depending on when the new moon is seen).
Like Eid al-Fitr, this celebration can include special ritual prayers, lavish meals, and visits with friends and family. It also includes gift-giving and acts of charity.
Design incorporates Islamic elements
The Arabic script on the stamp reads “Eid Mubarak,” which translates to “Have a happy Eid” or “Have a blessed Eid.” It appears under a pointed arch, which symbolizes the division between sacred and worldly space in Muslim culture. The stamp’s deep blues and warm gold and yellows, as well as its geometric pattern, are seen in Islamic architecture. The new moon atop the stamp signifies the start of Eid.
About the stamp
Designed by Doreen Colonello and Erin Enns of Entro Communications and printed by Colour Innovations, this Permanent domestic-rate stamp measures 28 mm by 35 mm, is printed in six colours plus a varnish, and is available in booklets of 10. The Official First Day Cover is cancelled in Toronto, ON. A collectible framed enlargement is also available.
Background: Stamps for other major religions’ holy days
Canada Post has issued annual Christmas stamps since 1964. In recent years, one Christmas stamp has depicted a sacred image reflecting the Christian faith, and another reflects a secular holiday theme.
Earlier this year, Canada Post and India Post agreed on a historic joint stamp issue featuring two stamps marking Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. One stamp from each country will be released on the same day in the fall of 2017. Canada Post had also announced earlier that it will issue a Hanukkah stamp this year, recognizing the Jewish faith’s eight-day celebration in December, which commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in the second century B.C.E.
Together the Eid, Diwali and Hanukkah stamps build on the tradition of Christmas stamps and depict our pride in Canada being a land of diverse faiths, customs and celebrations.