25 August 2016

Greetings on Janmashtami

Today is Birthday of Lord Krishna Happy Janmashatami to all Indians living in different corners of the world.

U.S. Postal Service Honors Festival of Diwali...

Date of Issue : 5 October 2016

The U.S. Postal Service will commemorate the joyous Hindu festival of Diwali with a Forever stamp. The Wednesday, Oct 5, first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony will take place at the Consulate General of India, New York.

The stamp design is a photograph featuring a traditional diya oil lamp beautifully lit, sitting on a sparkling gold background. Diya lamps are usually made from clay with cotton wicks dipped in a clarified butter known as “ghee” or in vegetable oils. 
Also known as Deepavali, Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Spanning five days each autumn, it is considered by some to be the start of the new year.

On the Hindu calendar, Diwali falls on the eve of, or on, the new moon that occurs between mid-October and mid-November. In 2016, the main day of the festival will be celebrated Oct. 29 for South Indians and Oct 30 for North Indians.
Diwali is a shortened version of the Sanskrit word Deepavali, which roughly translates as “a necklace of lights.” During Diwali, the flickering oil-wick diyas sprinkle the homes of observers around the world.

Before the festival, many Hindus traditionally go shopping, clean their homes, open their doors and windows, create intricate rangoli — a vibrant floor pattern traditionally made from materials such as rice powder, colored sand and flower 
petals — and light diyas with hopes that Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, will visit. In some regions of India, people play games, just as Hindu lore says that the god Shiva did. 
On the festive main day of the holiday, families pray for Lakshmi, dress up in their best clothes, enjoy lavish feasts and sweets, exchange gifts and light fireworks. Diwali also marks the new year 
for people in Gujarat and a few other states of India. Diwali also is celebrated as a major holiday by followers of the Jain and Sikh faiths.

Source : USPS

24 August 2016

Rio Gold medalist honoured on stamp..

Date of Issue : 8 August 2016

Japan Post Co. is honoring all Japanese gold medalists at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with commemorative postage stamps.
The first set of stamps was issued Aug. 8 to mark Kosuke Hagino's victory in the 400-meter individual medley race on Aug. 6, the first day of the swimming competition. Hagino was the first Japanese to win a gold in Rio.
Kosuke Hagino is a Japanese competition swimmer who specializes in the individual medley and 200 m freestyle. He is a four-time Olympic medalist, most notably winning gold in the 400 m individual medley at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Hagino currently holds the Asian Records in the 200 m and 400 m individual medley (long course) as well as the 100 m and 200 m individual medley (short course). With team Japan, he also holds the Asian Records for the 4×100 m freestyle relay and the 4×100 m medley relay.
A total of 1,000 sheets of commemorative stamps went on sale at Tokyo Central Post Office on Aug. 8. A sheet of five 82-yen stamps is priced at 1,400 yen ($13.73), including tax.
A total of 1,000 sheets of commemorative stamps went on sale at Tokyo Central Post Office on Aug. 8. A sheet of five 82-yen stamps is priced at 1,400 yen ($13.73), including tax.

 News from our Readers...

Stamp exhibition in Kenya

Our reader Mr Sachin Sharma shares here some pics of a small stamp exhibition organized by him in Kenya.

23 August 2016

Fables on new Israeli stamps...

Parables of the Sages – Tales from the Past

Here is new set of stamps to be issued by Israeli Post featuring tales from the past - Parables of the sages.This is a very beautiful set and best suitable for children's theme. As usual the tabs on stamps  feature lovely pictures of the stories.
In Rabbinic literature, in both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds and the Midrashim, we find many parables—some relating to plant life and others to animal life. These are, in fact, fables: very short stories in which plants or animals speak, feel, and act as humans in every way. The stories have a moral and teach a lesson. The Sages called these stories “fox parables” or “palm parables”.
 Israeli Post has prepared for issuing three special stamps depicting the brightest scenes from the parables. The three stamps in this series are based on the Parables of the Sages, which are notably similar to some of Aesop’s Fables.
Fables flourished in Ancient Greece, where Aesop’s Fables originated. The first anthology attributed to Aesop was known as early as the 3rd century BCE. The broad contacts between Greek and Israelite cultures in the Hellenistic period brought Aesop’s fables into our literature as well.
The Fox in the Vineyard
A fox saw a vineyard of ripe grapes and wished to taste them. The hole he found in the fence was too small for him to pass through, so he fasted for three days, entered the vineyard, and feasted on grapes until he was full. When he then tried to leave, he was again forced to fast for three days in order to fit through the hole in the fence. What pleasure, then, did he derive from the vineyard?
Midrash Kohelet Rabbah 5:21; the language of the fable is a mix of Hebrew and Aramaic. The Hebrew translation is found in Ch.N.Bialik-Y.Ch. Ravnitzky, Sefer Ha’Aggada,  ed. with a new commentary by A. Shinan, 2015, pg. 1008. The Aesopian equivalent is found in Sh. Shpan, Aesop’s Fables, 1961, fable 204, pg. 99 [Hebrew].
The Lion and the Heron
A bone got stuck in a lion’s throat as it ate its prey. The lion promised a reward to anyone who could dislodge the bone. The Egyptian Ammoperdix (which is what the bird is called in the Midrash) used its long beak to perform the task. When he came to claim his reward the lion said to him: Is it not enough that you escaped the jaws of the lion, now you seek a reward, as well?
Midrash Genesis Rabbah 64:10, the language of the fable is a mix of Hebrew and Aramaic. The Hebrew translation is found in Sefer Ha’Aggada (see above), pg. 1007; the Aesopian equivalent is found in Shpan, Aesop’s Fables (see above), fable 41, pg. 28.
The Reed and the Cedar
The mighty cedar with its many roots can be uprooted by a strong wind. The reed, which is supple and flexible, bends in the wind and suffers no harm. The moral: A Man should always be as gentle as the reed and never as unyielding as the cedar.
Babylonian Talmud, Ta’anith  20a, the fable is written in Hebrew. Sefer Ha’Aggada (see above), pg. 1010; the Aesopian equivalent is found in Shpan, Aesop’s Fables (see above), fable 338, pg. 160.

22 August 2016

New Special Covers

Special Cover on Olymphilex India 2016

On the occasion of 2016 Rio Olympic Games philatelic exhibition on Sports and Olympic through philately was organized at Bengaluru GPO with the support of Department of Posts from 5th to 21st August 2016. Collections of Shri T. N. Prahlada Rao, Shri Jagannath Mani, Shri Vijay Kumar, Master Vineeth and Master Harpith were showcased in 20 frames. The exhibition was a tribute to Shri T. N. Prahalad Rao a Senior Olympic Stamp Collector.

Late Shri T. N. Prahlada Rao was a noted Philatelist of Bangalore who specialized in Olympic Philately. He was an active member of Karnataka Philatelic Society and the first Olympic philatelist from Karnataka who won awards in 1996, 2000, 2004 & 2008 at various events. He was instrumental in organizing first National Sport's and Games Philately exhibition ‘NGPEx-97’ and ‘Olymphilex India 2012’. He won medals for his exhibits in Sydney and Beijing Olympics. He was very active in philately till his last breathe. At the age of 82 he won award at Olympex 2008 at Beijing.
To commemorate the Olymphilex India 2016 exhibition and to pay a tribute to Veteran Philatelist Late Shri T. N. Prahlada Rao a Special Cover was released at the function held at Bengaluru GPO Auditorium on 19th August 2016. Special Cover was released by Mrs. Veena Srinivas, Postmaster General (BD), Karnataka Postal Circle.

- Jagannath Mani - Bangalore

Festivals 2016 – Yom Kippur Poem!

Date of Issue : 13 September 2016

Here is an exquisite  set of High Holyday stamps from Israel Post to be issued next month featuring Yom Kippur Poem.The beautiful tabs (special characteristics of Israeli stamp) on stamps depict art piesce by a potter,glazier and a silversmith  with inscription Yom Kippur Poem. The art work on  all three stamps is beautifully presented. A big appreciation to the designer  for giving such wonderful designs to these stamps.

The most important High Holyday in the Jewish religion is Yom Kippur – a day to reflect, repent and ask forgiveness for one’s sins. This poem has been chosen to be a theme for Festivals stamp set that illustrates the metaphoric Yom Kippur Poem. This literary work describes different artisans creating something new from raw materials – just like God created mankind. The artisans represented on this stamp series are the potter, the glazier and the silversmith.

The poem “As the Clay in the Hand of the Potter” appears in the Ashkenazi version of the prayer book for the eve of Yom Kippur. The author is unknown. It portrays human beings as being subject to the will of God, who decides who shall live and who shall die. This poem is recited on Yom Kippur because “Yom Kippur is the time for all to repent, individuals and the community at large. It is the climax of forgiveness and of pardon for Israel, thus every person is obligated to repent and confess on Yom Kippur” (Maimonides, Laws of Repentance 2:7).

The poet uses imagery featuring artisans using different kinds of materials; just as human beings are raw materials molded by the hand of God. They recognize their sins and their consequent punishment, yet still ask for mercy: “Look to the covenant and do not incline to your desire”. In other words, God will remember the covenants made by the fathers of the Jewish nation with Him throughout the generations, and thus He shall forgive them.
The list of artisans mentioned in the poem varies in different versions of the ancient prayer books. Some note nine artisans while others list only seven. In one version the artisans are listed in alphabetical order. According to the interpretation by Rabbi Shlomo Pappenhim (1740-1814), which is based on the seven artisans mentioned in the poem, each artisan represents a period in the life of a person, who is accountable to God.

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