The U.S. Postal Service continues its tradition of celebrating Kwanzaa, an annual Pan-African holiday that brings family, community, and culture together for many African Americans.

Credit: U.S. Postal Service

The first-day-of-issue event for the Kwanzaa Forever stamp is free and open to the public. News of the stamp is being shared with the hashtag #KwanzaaStamps.

The U.S. Postal Service continues its tradition of celebrating Kwanzaa with this new stamp design. The annual Pan-African holiday takes place over seven days from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, and brings family, community, and culture together for many African Americans.

The stamp design depicts two children — a girl and a boy — standing together with a kinara (candleholder) and the seven lit candles (mishumaa saba) in front of them. They are dressed in robes akin to spiritual garments. A light-blue circle behind the children’s heads represents wholeness and unifies the figures, and a mosaic motif frames the background.

Kwanzaa is a festive time for rejoicing in the prospect of health, prosperity, and good luck in the coming year. It is also a time for contemplation and recollection of past hardships faced by individuals and communities and how history can inform and affect future happiness.

Each year, millions of African Americans gather with friends and family throughout the week of Kwanzaa to honor the holiday’s seven founding principles — unity (umoja), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani).

With origins in ancient and modern first-harvest festivities occurring across the African continent, Kwanzaa incorporates and reimagines many communal traditions as a contemporary celebration and reaffirmation of African American culture.

Artist director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp with original artwork by Erin Robinson.

The Kwanzaa stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp. This stamp will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.


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