Birthday Party - Sheetlets
Birthday Party - Sheetlets for only GBP £2.50
Many happy returns of the day! A lively birthday party is depicted on this puzzle stamp mini sheet issued by Austrian Post as part of the "comic stamp puzzle" series - a unique way of franking party invitations or your birthday greetings.
What child does not want to be the centre of attention on his/her birthday? A delicious birthday cake with candles, balloons, presents and fun and games with friends, these things make a day which will be remembered for a long time to come. But it was not always the case that birthdays, that is to say the anniversary of one?s birth, were celebrated.
In Ancient Egypt it was primarily the Pharaoh?s birthday that was celebrated with a great feast. The Ancient Romans and Greeks presented sacrifices to the guardian spirits in order to obtain their goodwill for the person whose birthday they were celebrating, which is probably the source of the modern tradition of giving gifts. In the early days of Christianity these heathen customs were rejected and for a long time birthdays were not celebrated. Feasts which were considered much more important were the name day, that is the day on which the saint after whom the person was named was celebrated, and the days on which the martyrs were commemorated. In fact, common people often did not know the precise date of their birth. It was only in the 19th century that the custom of celebrating one?s birthday spread not only among the nobility but also among the bourgeoisie. The custom is not widespread in certain religions even today.
A particular cause for celebration was - and in some countries still is - the regent?s birthday. This is often a public holiday. Military parades and street parties are organised and the whole country celebrates with the monarch. So, for example, the "Konigsdag", the birthday of King Willem-Alexander, is celebrated in the Netherlands on 27th April. Likewise, many a dictator enjoys being celebrated by his people in the most ostentatious manner possible.
A child?s birthday, by contrast, is something that we look back over for years to come. Perhaps it is a particularly good present that we remember, or an exciting game that we enjoyed so much that we would like to play it over and over again. A great children?s party does not need to have the best decorations or the biggest cake in order to be a success. Good friends, playing together and having fun together are far more important than expensive presents or a fully organised party from a party service.
That is why the lovingly designed puzzle stamp shows happy children eating cake and having fun together. Even the dog is joining in the celebrations! Each puzzle piece can be used individually as a stamp and can thus turn a letter or postcard into something truly special.