With the issuance of this new stamp, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates the joyous holiday of Hanukkah with a charming image of a hanukiah, the nine-branch candelabra used only at Hanukkah.
Art Director and stamp designer Antonio Alcalá created the ink drawing using irregular lines to suggest a more human presence. He completed the image by digitally adding blue to the stamp background and white to the hanukkiah. The flames are rendered in yellow.
Hanukkah is the Hebrew word for “dedication.” Tradition relates how a miracle took place after the Maccabees reclaimed the Temple in Jerusalem. During the rededication of the Temple, Jewish worshippers discovered that only one small jar of consecrated oil remained, enough to last just one day. They lit the Temple menorah, which miraculously burned for eight days, providing enough time to produce more oil. Today the miracle of the oil is celebrated each year at Hanukkah with the ceremonial lighting of the hanukiah. The hanukiah features a center candle, the shamash or helper, used to light the other eight candles, which symbolize the miracle of the oil.
The Hanukkah 2024 stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp in panes of 20. This Forever stamp will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce price.
Stamp Art Director
Antonio Alcalá served on the Postmaster General’s Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee from 2010 until 2011, when he left to become an art director for the U.S. Postal Service's stamp development program.
After working as a book designer and freelance graphic designer, Alcalá opened Studio A in 1988. Since then his studio has won awards of excellence in design from local, national, and international design institutions including AIGA, Print, Communication Arts, and Graphis. His clients include: the National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, National Portrait Gallery, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery, National Museum of Women in the Arts, The Phillips Collection, and Smithsonian Institution.
Alcalá is an adjunct faculty member of the Maryland Institute College of Art, MFA program in graphic design, and founder of the design education program DesignWorkshops. He served on the board of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association and is a past president of the Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington. The AIGA DC Chapter selected Alcalá as its 2008 AIGA Fellow. His work is represented in the AIGA Design Archives and the Library of Congress Permanent Collection of Graphic Design.
Alcalá graduated from Yale University with a BA in history and from the Yale School of Art with an MFA in graphic design. He lives with his wife in Alexandria, Virginia.