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31 January 2020

Greetings Stamp — Love

Slovenia: Greetings – Love, 31 January 2020. Images from various eBay auctions and Posta znamka.

Release date: 31.1.2020
Design: Zadruga.traparij
Motive: Love
Print: Royal Joh. Enschedé, Netherlands
Technique: 4-colour offset in sheetlets of 10 stamps
Papir: Tullis Russell Chancellor Litho PVA RMS GUM, 102 g/m2
Perforation: Comb

O, this love…!

A great deal has been written about love, most of it about human relationships. Less, however, has been written about the connections expressed by all living creatures, both among themselves and in relation to the inanimate world of objects and phenomena.

A greetings stamp sees the light of day every year around Valentine’s Day, which has established itself practically throughout the world, with all the aggressive global marketing we have come to expect, as a day dedicated to sweethearts and romantic love. Some earlier examples of the cultural traditions surrounding this holiday date far back into the history of the Western world. In England, for example, it has long been traditional to send special greetings cards on Valentine’s Day.

Within Slovenia’s cultural tradition, this holiday was originally far more focused on manifestations of love in the natural world – before we adopted the globalised Valentine’s Day in the early 1990s, since which time it has become an increasingly commercial enterprise with every passing year. The original Valentine’s Day in this country was connected to the mating season of birds, in other words the first early celebration of the springtime reawakening, which is also represented in a unique way by the design of this greetings stamp. As the winter sleep came to an end, love began to reawaken among birds, plants and, eventually, human beings. It therefore seems reasonable to put a question to our modern age: is the yearly calendar really just a means to document our frantic lives, glimpses of days of work and the bridges of holidays? Are we still capable, through our actions and, above all, our mutual relations, including our attitude towards changes in nature, of respecting and listening to the seasons? Even with love and the relationships it offers us!

Janez Bogataj

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