Thursday, December 8, 2022
U.S. Postal Service to issue Kwanzaa Forever stamp Oct. 1
By Sentinel News Service
Published August 31, 2016

NAT - kwanzaa stamp

The first-day-of-issue ceremony for the Kwanzaa Forever stamp will take place Sat., Oct. 1 in Charleston, SC’s Marion Square at the MOJA Art Festival.

With this vibrant new stamp design, the U.S. Postal Service continues its tradition of celebrating Kwanzaa. This annual non-religious holiday, which takes place over seven days from Dec. 26 to January 1, brings family, community and culture together for many African Americans. Dec. 26 marks the 50th anniversary of this widely celebrated holiday.


The colorful stamp art features a woman holding a bowl that overflows with fruits and vegetables, symbolizing the abundance of African first harvest celebrations that inspired the creation of Kwanzaa.

Created in 1966, Kwanzaa draws on African traditions, deriving its name from the phrase “first fruits” in Swahili, a widely spoken African language. It has its origins in first harvest celebrations that occurred across the African continent in ancient and modern times. Kwanzaa synthesizes and reinvents these tribal traditions as a contemporary celebration of African-American culture.

Each year, millions of African Americans gather with friends and family around a table set with the mkeka — a straw mat symbolizing the history of African Americans. They light seven candles known as the mishumaa saba, each representing one of the founding principles, and share in a feast that celebrates their shared heritage. Kwanzaa is a festive occasion that rejoices in the prospect of health, prosperity, and good luck in the coming year, while recalling the past and its role in future happiness.

Artist Synthia Saint James worked with art director Greg Breeding, who designed the stamp.

This is the sixth stamp design issued by the U.S. Postal Service in celebration of Kwanzaa. The first Kwanzaa commemorative stamp was issued in 1997. New designs were also issued in 2004, 2009, 2011, and 2013.

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

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