The Bahamas

Christmas Bells
05 December 2019

The Bahamas: Christmas Bells, 5 December 2019. Images from Pobjoy Mint Stamp Division.

Issue Date:  5 December 2019
Designer: Andrew Robinson
Perforation: 13½ x 13½
Printer: Cartor
Process:  Stochastic Lithography
Stamp size: 36 x 36mm
Sheet Layout: 20 (2 x 10)
Production Co-ordination:  Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

Ringing out the bells at midnight on Christmas Eve to announce the historical birth of Christ is one of the church’s oldest traditions. For hundreds of years bells have announced the arrival of events and occasions, both good and bad.

The ringing of bells can be traced back to pagan winter celebrations when they were used to frighten away evil spirits in the night. But bells were far too much fun and over time these same bells have become associated with celebrations and joyous events. Today, they play an important and traditional role during the Christmas holiday.

These beautiful Christmas stamps from the Bahamas Post Office include a variety of traditional Christmas bells.

Cowbells are named after the similar bell traditionally used by herdsmen to keep track of their freely roaming animals. Though the bells were used on various types of animals, they are typically referred to as “cowbells” due to their extensive use with cattle.

The 15c and 65c values feature different cowbells that, together with drums, whistles and horns, are used by musicians to create the hypnotic rhythms that accompany the spectacular Junkanoo parades through the streets of downtown Nassau each year on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Junkanoo first began as a temporary celebration of freedom for slaves who were given a few days off at Christmas, allowing them to leave the plantations to be with their families and to celebrate the holiday with music, dance and costumes. Today, it is a joyous celebration of freedom and an important part of the Christmas season.

The 25c value depicts the bell decorations that are so familiar to all of us. Given the long association of bells with Christmas it was inevitable that bells would become one of the traditional decorations for trees and houses around the world.

Church bells were first introduced into the Christian church in AD 400 and officially sanctioned by Pope Sabinian in AD 604 and within a few hundred years had become quite common throughout Europe. The 50c value shows a traditional church bell ringing out in joyful celebration for Christmas.

These stamps and other products can be ordered from Pobjoy Mint Stamp Division.


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