The Christmas stamps published today mark 30 years since the first Christmas stamp

Today, 20 October, Omniva is publishing this year’s Christmas stamp set. This year marks a milestone in the tradition of Christmas stamps – the first Estonian Christmas stamp was published 30 years ago.

‘The first Christmas stamp was issued in Estonia in 1992 and it depicted a stylised Christmas tree. These Christmas stamps were also significant in another sense – they were the first postage stamps printed in Estonia after the restoration of independence,’ said Mart Mägi, Chairman of the Management Board of Omniva. ‘Over the years, many Estonian artists have created Christmas stamps with very different designs. This year’s Christmas stamps also delight us with their beautiful message and design.’

Artist Made Balbat was inspired by the image of the guardian angel when designing Christmas stamps and cards. ‘I chose the guardian angel primarily because we are living in very difficult and challenging times at the moment. The guardian angel protects us, watches over us, and guides us to the right path. It is important to remember not to lose faith and hope!’ stressed Balbat.

Made Balbat graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a degree in graphic art. Lately, she has been working mainly with digital media – her images are often based on literature, well-known stories, and fairy tales. In addition to illustrations, the artist makes original prints: traditional etchings and drypoint. In the field of graphic design, Balbat has designed a wide range of books, calendars, and postcards.

A total of 400,000 stamps with a tariff of a standard domestic letter and 150,000 stamps with a tariff of international letters and cards were printed in the printing house Vaba Maa. Along with the stamps, a first day envelope and an information card will also be issued and the first day stamp will be used at the Toompea post office. In addition to post offices and retailers, you can buy Christmas stamps and cards from the Omniva e-shop.

The first Christmas postage stamps, issued on 15 December 1992, were designed by Uko Künnap, one costing 30 cents and the other 2 kroons. These were the first postage stamps printed in Estonia after the restoration of independence. Since then, Christmas stamps designed by many different artists have been issued every year in Estonia. In 1994, one of the Christmas stamps was overprinted when a new price was printed on some of the stamps. This added 20 kroons (€2.50) to the price for the Estonia shipwreck victims fund. In 1999, Christmas lottery stamps were made with a six-digit number and cash prizes could be won with them. In 2007, Ilon Wikland designed one of the Christmas stamps, and from the same year, the Christmas stamps have been self-adhesive. In 2016, people were surprised with gingerbread-scented Christmas stamps, and in 2017, special-shaped scented Christmas stamps were made.

A selection of Estonian Christmas stamps published over the decades can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9HX2Y1g2KQ


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