U.S. # 4824
2013 46¢ Hanukkah
Hanukkah is a celebration of a miracle that occurred at the Temple of Jerusalem in 165 B.C., when the Maccabees revolted against Syrian King Antiochus IV. The temple was reclaimed, but only enough purified oil was on hand to keep its light burning for one night. Yet the lamp burned for eight days, allowing the Maccabees time to purify more oil. Since that time, Jewish people celebrate the “Festival of Lights” each year for eight days.
The lighting of the menorah is a joyous Hanukkah tradition guided by symbolic rituals. The Hanukkah menorah is a nine-branched candelabrum, which holds eight candles that will be lit each night of the holiday. The ninth branch holds the shamash (helper) candle, which is used to light the others. Hanukkah candles are all the same height, but the shamash candle must be separate and longer.
Candles are placed in the menorah, one per day during the holiday, moving right to left. They are lit in the opposite direction after the first star of the night appears. Two blessings are said during the lighting, with a third recited on the first evening.
Menorahs were originally placed outside homes to the left of the doorpost. Today they are displayed in windows or built outdoors, including two 32-foot menorahs that mark the holiday in New York City.
The 2013 Hanukkah stamp features a photograph of a forged-iron menorah created by Vermont blacksmith Steven Bronstein holding nine lighted beeswax candles. These stamps were put on sale in post offices on November 9, though the first day ceremony took place on the 19th.
Value: 46¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: November 19, 2013
First Day City: New York, NY
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter USA Ltd.
Method: Offset printing in sheets of 160 in 8 panes of 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 11
Quantity Printed: 7,000,000 stamps
The U.S.P.S. issued its first Hanukkah stamp in 1996. The stamp, #3118, was the first in a new Holiday Celebrations Series honoring different cultural and ethnic holidays. Click here to learn more about U.S. Hanukkah stamps.