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Friendship and warmth in Christmas stamps

04.11.2016

The pauper tradition is also remembered in the stamps of November.

The stamps for Christmas 2016 will be released on November 10. At the same time, a miniature sheet depicting two paupers and the only pauperess in Finland and their home churches will be published. The new no-value indication is printed on all the stamps.

Cherishing the wooden pauper tradition

The themes of the Pauper tradition stamps are the pauperess of Soini and the paupers of Alajärvi and Hauho. Stamps depicting the churches of these localities will also be published in a miniature sheet consisting of six stamps. The stamps have been designed by Anssi Kähärä.

A pauper is a painted wooden sculpture attached to the church wall, with a slot in the chest for donating money. They already acted as pioneers of basic service before the development of the social security system and the oldest of them date from the 17th century. Paupers were popular attractions in their localities.

Finnish paupers are a unique phenomenon even in international terms and corresponding statues are not found elsewhere in the world. There are still slightly over 140 wooden paupers in Finland, and one pauperess in Soini. More than a hundred of them are still faithfully standing in place. 

Christmas stamps through an artwork competition

The Christmas-themed stamps for this year are the result of an artwork competition arranged by Posti and the Finnish Association of Illustrators (Kuvittajat ry). The Christmas greeting for Finland has been designed by Sari Airola from Helsinki and the 1st class stamp by Sini Ezer from Espoo. The graphic design is by Paula Salviander.

- To me, one of the most important aspects of Christmas is friendship and caring for others. I wanted my stamp design to conjure up friendship and warmth. I selected classic Finnish Christmas characters, a reindeer and an elf. My stamp design depicts the friendship between the two characters during a Christmas trip, Airola says about the Run my reindeer stamp. The Run my reindeer stamp is the first no-value indicator stamp for Christmas greetings. It can also be used for Christmas greetings next year. 

- The theme of the Girl and squirrel stamp is the joy of sharing. My aim was to depict a traditional Christmas atmosphere while introducing a new, fresh element through layout and coloring," Exer says.

A red cottage for international winter greetings

A traditional red cottage in a snowy landscape appears on a 1.30 euro international no-value indicator stamp. The international no-value indicator stamp can be used for international letters and cards up to 20 g (not in the Åland Islands). The stamp has been designed by graphic designer Paula Salviander.

- The planning set out from the question: What kind of mindscape arousing warm feelings would best suit a Finnish international stamp with a winter theme? The answer was a red cottage in a snow-covered landscape, Salviander says.

- The Red cottage stamp best depicts a traditional Finnish landscape and is a small "time journey" to its thousands of stories."

Further information

The postage fee classes for letters and cards to be combined (Media Release on September 20, 2016)

Weihnachtsmarken mit Freundschaft und Wärme

Image material for the media

www.posti.fi/newstamps

All stamps available for sale are featured in Posti's online shop.

Last recommended mailing dates for Christmas 2016 (PDF)