WINTER CUSTOMS

On the Year-End Feasts, Romfilatelia introduces into circulation the postage stamp issue Winter Customs.

Winter is the season of holidays, carols, gifts, and the smell of fir, which abounds in religious events of great significance for Christians, traditions and customs that have been preserved since ancient times, taken as such or adapted to the modern times we are living.

In terms of calendar year, the holidays take place between December 24th and January 7th, starting with the Nativity of Jesus Christ and ending on Saint John’s day.

However, the little ones start, long before, to be concerned about the gifts who Santa Claus will bring them. That’s why they write to Santa long letters, in which they to put down in black and white their desires, asking him to bring toys, sweets and, more recently, due to the fact that generations are evolving, gadgets. At the same time, the grown-ups, the adults, write letters to their dear ones, because Christmas is a time of great joy, being traditionally a holiday dedicated to family, goodness, forgiveness and reconciliation.

The birth of Jesus Christ is ushered as early as Eve, when a bunch of carol stingers go to the homes of people singing Good Morning on Christmas Eve (Bună dimineața la Moș Ajun). They receive gifts from the carolled hosts, such as nuts, pretzels, colaci (braided bread) and apples. Another familiar custom, which evokes the birth of Jesus, is going carolling with the Star (Steaua), which guided the Magi. The most popular star carols are The Star Is Rising Up (Steaua sus răsare), Three Shepherds Met (Trei păstori se întâlniră), Oh, What A Wonderful News! (O, ce veste minunată!).

Also, on Christmas Eve, the children’s homes are visited, according to tradition, by Santa Claus, who leaves them gifts below the beautifully adorned Christmas tree, this being the most expected moment of the holiday season.

The New Year’s night has its customs and traditions as well. Thus, Sorcova (The Wishing Carol), one of the Romanian customs that is practiced right after the passage between the years, is very loved by the children. Bevelled several times in the direction of a certain person, Sorcova plays somewhat the role of a magic wand that conveys to the one being carolled miraculous powers through its song.

The Winter Customs postage stamp issue is made up of 4 stamps, which illustrate in a suggestive manner the customs specific to the season, as follows:

The stamp with the face value of Lei 2 presents, in a stylized manner, the time of sending letters to Santa Claus.

On the stamp with the face value of Lei 3 a scene in which people give gifts is illustrated.

The stamp with the face value of Lei 11.50 presents a group of carol-singers, and the stamp with the face value of Lei 12 suggests the custom of the New Year’s night, Sorcova.

On the First Day Cover of the issue is illustrated Santa Claus, along with a little boy who handed him a letter.

On the Winter Holidays, Romfilatelia team carols with all their heart all stamp friends and wishes them Merry Holidays beside the loved ones. Happy New Year!