For more than a decade we wrote an annual post on this blog about Russian public holidays, shining a light on Russian culture. And for the last six years we’ve been running a poll on social media, offering our followers a chance to choose a festive stamp of their preference.
Naturally the competing stamps have been from Royal Mail and Russian Post.
Since 2019 one tendency is evident in the British stamps: it follows the religious theme.
The jolly secular mood of Russian stamps is understandable: in Russia New Year's Day comes first and is the favourite public holiday of many.
Why? Because Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on 7th January, a week after New Year's Day.
The reason is the Russian Orthodox Church follows the Julian calendar, while most of other churches and the secular world have adopted the Gregorian calendar.
There's another striking change in this year's Royal Mail stamp: the profile of the King. Even though Queen Elizabeth II passed away before Christmas 2022, the stamps were designed in advance so she is still featured in the 2022 Christmas set.
There's a lot to stamps, one can watch a country's history through the prism of stamps alone. They are similar to Christmas cards our children draw and paint, and every single one of them will one day be viewed as a sign of the times...
[Tip: If you need any translation work doing, we are closed from 18th December to 3rd January for winter holidays.]