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First fruits

USPS dedicates sixth Kwanzaa stamp

The 2016 Kwanzaa stamp
The 2016 Kwanzaa stamp

The Postal Service dedicated the 2016 Kwanzaa stamp Oct. 1 at a festival celebrating African-American and Caribbean arts in Charleston, SC.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa, a non-religious holiday that is observed annually from Dec. 26-Jan. 1.

“Kwanzaa celebrations focus on the importance of family, community and culture, and reflect some of the core values of African culture,” said Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman, who dedicated the stamp.

The stamp depicts a young African-American woman holding a large purple bowl overflowing with fruits and vegetables, symbolizing the abundance of African harvest celebrations that inspired the creation of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa derives its name from the phrase “first fruits” in Swahili, a widely spoken African language.

The Postal Service issued its first Kwanzaa stamp in 1997. New designs also were issued in 2004, 2009, 2011 and 2013.

The Oct. 1 news release has more information. The stamp can be purchased online and at Post Offices nationwide.

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