The stamps to be issued in the first half of 2013 look at Finnish culture from many perspectives. The stamps feature a national park, Moomins, flowers, outhouses, and crazy Finnish contests from wife carrying to anthill sitting.
Thirteen stamp releases will be issued in Finland in January–May 2013, containing 39 different stamps.
For Finnish stamps, the year 2013 opens with three releases on January 21st.
Sweets are an essential part of St. Valentine’s Day all over the world. Designer Sini Henttonen’s St. Valentine's Day stamps feature playful landscapes composed of sweets. The Sweet St. Valentine’s Day booklet contains six 1st class stamps and four stickers for brightening up letters and cards with. “The oval form and bright colors emphasize the candy-like, playful nature of the stamps,” explains Ms. Henttonen, who will receive her MFA from the Finnish Aalto University in the spring.
The Sledging 1st class stamp is perfect for winter greetings. It will be issued as a foldable sheet of ten stamps. The designer, Georgi Eremenko, wanted to illustrate the joys and light of winter. “I found inspiration from watching colorfully dressed people sledging in Kaivopuisto Park in Helsinki on a sunny January weekend,” Mr. Eremenko comments.
The stylish Orchid stamp, designed by Susanna Rumpu and Ari Lakaniemi, will also come out in January. The stamp is particularly suitable for purposes such as condolence cards. The value, EUR 1.10, is equivalent to first-class postage for a letter weighing less than 100g. The foldable self-adhesive sheet of ten stamps fits neatly into the wallet.
The first stamp release in March will be the Centenary of the Union of Finnish Actors booklet on March 4th. More information will be provided closer to the release date.
Four more stamp releases will be out on March 8th.
The 2013 Easter stamps will feature a brightly colored rooster that carries a willow catkin in his beak and has an Easter egg at his feet. The Easter Rooster stamp sheet, designed by Katja Saario, contains ten 1st class stamps. According to the Finnish Easter tradition, it is the rooster that lays chocolate eggs and hides them for the children to find on Easter Sunday. In church art, the rooster is a symbol of vigilance and endurance, and it stands on the top of the bell tower of many churches.
Furthermore, a 1st class stamp suitable for congratulation cards will be issued in March. The theme was inspired by the traditional dark red granny’s rose. Designed by the renowned postage stamp artist Kaarina Toivanen, the Roses stamp is traditional and modern at the same time. It is a close-up of two rose blossoms on a rose branch with water droplets on the petals. The sheet contains ten stamps.
Three popular Finnish garden berries have been chosen as the theme for the roll of a hundred stamps to be issued in 2013. The photo-realistic 1st class stamps, designed by illustrator Ossi Hiekkala using acrylic technique, portray the blackberry, the gooseberry, and the red currant. The layout of Garden Berries is designed by Heikki Sallinen.
The Prettiest Outhouses stamp booklet will also be issued in March. The motifs were chosen in a photo contest arranged by the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper and Itella Posti Oy. The judges chose the prettiest Finnish outhouses from among more than 500 candidates. The four winners are located in different parts of Finland: Uusikaupunki, Polvijärvi, Mustasaari, and Kerimäki. One of the judges, graphic artist Satu Lusa, has designed 2nd class stamps of the winning photos, emphasizing a cozy summer cottage atmosphere.
On May 6th, Itella Posti Oy will launch five stamp releases.
Finns have a passion for odd contests and even arrange World Championships in various weird sports. Stamp artist Bruno Maximus has picked four peculiar Finnish sports as the motifs of the Finnish Oddity stamp booklet: wife carrying, air guitar playing, anthill sitting, boot throwing, old-geezer carting, and swamp soccer. “The stamps show the hilarious side of this sometimes so serious-minded country,” Mr. Maximus explains. He hopes that these humorous 1st class stamps will spread around the world and bring smiles on the recipients’ faces. The graphic designer of the Finnish Oddity stamp booklet is Tero Jämsä.
Modern times and history shake hands on the Mail Delivery Vehicles stamp sheet to be issued in May. Modern times are represented by a 2012 Ford Transit Cpmmect delivery van, standing next to a row of mailboxes in a sparsely populated area. The other stamp portrays a Volvo LV-70 truck from 1933, found today at the Mobilia automobile and road museum. The 1st class stamps designed by Susanna Rumpu and Ari Lakaniemi belong to the EUROPA series issued by European mail operators.
The series of Finnish national parks will continue in May with a sheet of ten stamps dedicated to the Nuuksio national park. Nuuksio is the southernmost inland national park in Finland. It is easy to access by public transport or even bicycle from the Helsinki Metropolitan area. The landscape of Nuuksio is rolling and spotted with lakes and ponds. The Haukkalampi Lake area is the theme of the Nuuksio National Park 1st class stamp designed by Teemu Ollikainen.
The beloved Moomins will make another appearance in May, when Itella Posti Oy issues the Moomin Favorites booklet of six stamps. The colorful 1st class stamps designed by graphic artist Satu Lusa feature Moominpappa, Moomintroll, Moominmamma, Little My, Snorkmaiden, and Snufkin. Satu Lusa wants to emphasize the lively eloquence of Tove Jansson’s drawings and the Moomins’ joy of life.
The Summer Bouquet 1st class stamp, to be issued in May as a sheet of ten stamps, is perfect for all kinds of summer greetings. Meadow flowers are a popular theme in postcards, but photo-based stamps of them have not been issued in Finland before. Päivi Viita is the designer of the Summer Bouquet stamp.
Itella Posti Oy
Release schedule for Finnish stamps, January–May 2013 (PDF)