New Stamps of the World — By Denise McCarty
Children portray Easter traditions celebrated in Finland on stamps issued Feb. 28.
Finland’s post office, Posti, named this set of three nondenominated stamps Fresh and Healthy.
One stamp depicts a boy dressed up as an Easter bunny. The rabbit has served as a symbol of fertility and spring since ancient times, but the first written mention of a hare that hides eggs at Easter dates from 17th-century Germany.
The second stamp shows a girl with decorated pussy willow twigs and a boy in a witch’s costume, and the third stamp pictures a girl with a tea kettle, an egg painted blue and more decorated twigs.
Both stamp designs represent traditions that are similar to trick or treat in the United States.
Posti said: “In eastern Finland, children traditionally knocked on people’s doors on Palm Sunday, offering to bless their homes with their twigs in return for treats.
“In western Finland, children dressed up as witches and collected treats on Easter Saturday.”
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Susanna Rumpu and Ari Lakaniemi designed the stamps. Joh. Enschede of the Netherlands printed them by offset in booklets of 15 (five of each design). The symbolic map on each design represents the domestic rate, currently 1.40.