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Slovenia

13 November 2020

Christmas and New Year

Slovenia: Christmas and New Year, 13 November 2020. Images from Delcampe and Posta.

Christmas C:

Technical Specifications:

Christmas C
Release date: 13.11.2020
Design: Društvo Gurman
Motive: Christmas C – Christmas Biscuits
Print: Agencija za komercijalnu djelatnost d.o.o., Zagreb, Croatia
Technique: 4-colour offset in self-adhesive sheets of 50 stamps and self-adhesive booklets of 12 stamps
Papir: self-adhesive, 100 g/m2
Perforation: Serpentine die cut
Illustration: Društvo Gurman

The stylised image of the Nativity or the Holy Family on the Christmas stamp speaks to us with a symbolism of colours that does not fully correspond to the usual iconographic interpretations of the individual colours. Christ’s mother Mary is presented in red, a colour that is supposed to represent vital power and also passion. It represents the warmth and sensitivity that are the characteristics of every mother. Joseph is presented in blue, which is supposed to represent reason, peace and wisdom. The baby Jesus is presented in yellow, the colour of the sun that every year is newly born and dies again. The colour expresses optimism, happiness and holiness. All these meanings can also be appropriate interpretations of contemporary family life.

Christmas is also a time of celebration linked to festive dishes. Originally, even these dishes had a clear symbolic meaning and were actually characteristic gifts. Towards the end of the nineteenth century a characteristic form of festive cuisine began to develop, including a wide variety of sweets and other confectionery that were hung on Christmas trees. This development continued throughout the twentieth century. Biscuits, frequently made of gingerbread, were shaped by hand or with the help of moulds and decorated with colourful icing. The latter accentuated the decorations and figural designs on the gingerbread. Gingerbread biscuits were not only decorative, however, and were particularly popular with youngsters, for whom they represented festive abundance. The next stage in the development of treats to hang on Christmas trees is represented by colourfully wrapped sweets, especially chocolates.

Janez Bogataj

Christmas B:

Technical Specifications:

Release date: 13.11.2020
Design: Laura Klavžar – UL ALUO
Motive: Christmas B – Nativity
Print: Agencija za komercijalnu djelatnost d.o.o., Zagreb, Croatia
Technique: 4-colour offset in self-adhesive sheets of 50 stamps and self-adhesive booklets of 12 stamps
Papir: self-adhesive, 100 g/m2
Perforation: Serpentine die cut
Illustration: Laura Klavžar – UL ALUO

New Year C:

Technical Specifications:

Release date: 13.11.2020
Design: Tami Kenda – UL ALUO
Motive: New Year C – Four-Leaf Clover
Print: Agencija za komercijalnu djelatnost d.o.o., Zagreb, Croatia
Technique: 4-colour offset in self-adhesive sheets of 50 stamps and self-adhesive booklets of 12 stamps
Papir: self-adhesive, 100 g/m2
Perforation: Serpentine die cut

Good fortune, gifts and greetings to see in the New Year

These days New Year celebrations are increasingly linked to consumerism and the communication of desires in electronic form. The traditional New Year good luck symbols are almost entirely drowned out by other visual and textual messages. One of the traditional symbols of luck was the four-leaf clover, which represents the basis of the design for the latest New Year stamp. The design is made up of four hearts: a gingerbread heart, a pair of horseshoes, a double heart formed by an infinite line, and a plain white heart. This apparently somewhat unusual combination actually contains deeper meanings represented by the three theological virtues of faith, hope and love (fides, spes and caritas), plus luck. The heart formed by an infinite line represents faith, the white heart represents hope, the gingerbread heart represents love, while luck is represented by the horseshoe, which is another typical New Year symbol of good luck, along with the four-leaf clover.

The giving of gifts at New Year is a relatively young cultural phenomenon that in the present age has taken on enormous dimensions, especially in terms of consumerism. The former (mainly) Christmas presents have been replaced and drowned out by New Year’s gifts that are exchanged at the personal, family, business and ceremonial levels. The giving of beautifully wrapped presents at New Year developed out of the Christmas gift-giving tradition in the Germanic, mainly Protestant part of Europe a little over 200 years ago. This tradition slowly began to establish itself in Slovenia in the period between the two world wars, initially in urban environments. It was not, however, adopted by the masses until after the end of the Second World War, when traditional Christmas celebrations were forced to withdraw from the public sphere into family contexts and the socialist regime placed greater emphasis on New Year celebrations and gift-giving. The 1950s saw the appearance of a new winter gift-bringer, Grandfather Frost, who thus joined St Nicholas and Christkind (the Christ Child – today replaced by the imported Anglo-American personification of Christmas known as Father Christmas or Santa Claus).

Janez Bogataj

New Year A:

Technical Specifications:

Release date: 13.11.2020
Design: Marko Prah
Motive: Gift and Greeting
Print: Agencija za komercijalnu djelatnost d.o.o., Zagreb, Croatia
Technique: 4-colour offset in self-adhesive sheets of 50 stamps
Papir: self-adhesive, 100 g/m2
Perforation: Serpentine die cut
Illustration: Marko Prah

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