First light

Paris Keswani, this year’s Mrs. India Earth International, stands near an image of the Diwali stamp at the Oct. 5 dedication ceremony.

The Postal Service released a stamp Oct. 5 to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival that spans five days each fall.

“We hope these stamps will light up millions of cards and letters as they make their journey through the mailstream,” Mail Entry and Payment Technology VP Pritha Mehra said during a dedication ceremony in New York City.

Diwali roughly translates as “a necklace of lights.” During the holiday, observers decorate their homes with flickering oil-wick diya lamps, hoping they will be visited by Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

In 2016, the main day of Diwali will be celebrated Oct. 29 for South Indians and Oct. 30 for North Indians.

The stamp shows a traditional diya lamp sitting on a sparkling gold background.

The Oct. 5 news release has more information. The stamp is available at Post Offices and