The Stamp Year begins on January 24 with three stamp publications in which Northern Finland and a fairytale world are well presented. The magical Valentine's Day stamps are designed by Rovaniemi-based Leena Raappana-Luiro; international no-value indicator stamps are featuring the visitors' favorites, the northern lights and reindeer; and the commemorative stamp of Zacharias Topelius has touching illustrations from the fairytale Adalmina's pearl. First day events will be moved from Tampere back to Helsinki Main Post Office.
The 2018 Valentine's Day stamps are designed by Leena Raappana-Luiro, lecturer at the University of Lapland. The heart shape is present in the plant pictures, which are full of color and light. The idea for the stamps came from a leaf of an aspen tree.
"The creative process just carried me away, and I noticed that I am reaching for a mystical, dramatic and, at the same time, magical feeling. The vegetation of the fairytale forest is formed by hearts, which glow against the dark background," says Raappana-Luiro.
"Even though I've created the illustrations digitally, I took inspiration from art history. I admire the Dutch flower painting of the 17th century and old natural science illustrations," she continues.
Raappana-Luiro took part in the Valentine's Day 2017 stamp design competition, the winner of which was Sininen sydän (Blue heart). However, Raappana-Luiro's work fascinated the jury, and the cooperation was soon to be initiated.
The Friendship is Light stamp booklet includes five domestic no-value indicator stamps.
Santa Claus' Main Post Office, Posti's special shop in Rovaniemi, receives visitors from all over the world. To address them and all visitors fascinated by Finland, the assortment of international no-value indicator stamps will be complemented with Lapland-themed stamps designed by Stiina Hovi. The two stamps depict the northern lights and reindeer, which are favorite themes among visitors.
"Foreign visitors especially appreciate cleanliness, nature, peace and security in Finland. The huge popularity of the northern lights start to show already in the early fall when, particularly, the number of Asian visitors rises, and the peak season lasts until the end of March," says Katja Tervonen, sales supervisor at Santa Claus' Main Post Office.
The Enchantment of Lapland sheet contains ten international no-value indicator stamps.
In 2018, 200 years have elapsed since the birth of Zacharias Topelius, a famous Finnish author. Topelius is commemorated with a miniature sheet designed by Timo Berry. The sheet has a picture of the portrait of Topelius painted by Albert Edelfelt in 1889 and Rudolf Koivu's painting "Cradle and Angel Guardians" for Topelius' fairytale Adalmina's pearl.
"I concentrated on creating a beautiful interpretation of Topelius and tried to capture him as the ‘fairytale man' we know. The portrait utilized for the sheets was painted when Topelius served as the Rector of the University of Helsinki; for this reason, people dedicated to the matter will identify this as an important portrait. The second illustration was selected based on not only esthetic but also symbolic reasons - it can be viewed as a wider interpretation of Topelius, not just as a fairytale illustration," says Timo Berry.
The miniature sheet, which consists of two domestic no-value indicator stamps, will be published on January 24.
First day events will be moved from Tampere back to Helsinki Main Post Office. At the Helsinki Main Post Office (Elielinaukio 2, Helsinki), the First Day Event will be organized on January 24, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. At the event, new stamps, first day covers and other stamp products are for sale, and there is a possibility for visitors to get first day stamps on their items.
In addition, the Finnish Postcrossing Friends association will introduce postcrossing as a hobby at the event.
During the first 100 years of its existence, Åbo Akademi University has grown from a small regional university to an internationally known research university where high-level research is being conducted in the fields of technology and biosciences, and related to current issues in society.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary, a personalized stamp designed by Paula Salviander will be released on January 24. Åbo Akademi 100 years is a domestic no-value indicator stamp that is sold in sheets of ten stamps for EUR 17 per sheet (EUR 1.70 per stamp). The stamp is sold, for instance, in Posti's online shop and at the Turku Main Post Office.
All stamps available for sale are featured in Posti's online shop: www.posti.fi/goshopping.