Kwanzaa featured on this year's holiday U.S. Postage Stamp

October 19th, 2004

The festive mood of Kwanzaa was captured on Sat. Oct. 16 when the new 37-cent First-Class Kwanzaa stamp was issued by the U.S. Postal Service at the DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago.

The new self-adhesive stamp is available in a pane of 20 and is a new and different design from the first Kwanzaa stamp that was issued in 1997. Art director Derry Noyes and stamp artist Daniel Minter strove to create a design that appropriately balances formality with a celebratory, festive mood. The seven days of Kwanzaa, and the seven principles they signify, are represented by seven figures in colorful robes.

Kwanzaa is a non-religious African American holiday that takes place over seven days, from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. It draws on African traditions and takes its name from the Swahili phrase for "first fruits." Its origins are in harvest celebrations that occurred in ancient and modern times in various places across the African continent.