New Year A – Gift and Greeting
Date of issue: 13.11.2020
Author: Marko Prah
Motive: New Year A – Gift and Greeting
Printed by: Agencija za komercijalnu djelatnost d.o.o., Zagreb, Croatia
Printing Process and Layout: 4-colour offset in self-adhesive sheets of 50 stamps and self-adhesive booklets of 12 stamps
Paper: self-adhesive, 100 g/m2
Size: 23.50 x 30.50 mm
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).