Stamp as visiting card

Top 10 most interesting stamps issued in Belarus, and those soon to appear
By Lyudmila Minakova

We may rarely notice the stamps we attach to letters but they are often works of art! Just think how many people work on their creation. Naturally, stamps travel to even the most remote corners of the world, presenting Belarus to people far and wide. The first Belarusian stamp was issued in 1992 and over 900 have now entered circulation, depicting every aspect of life — from famous monuments and prominent personalities to flora and fauna.

Here are our top 10 Belarusian stamps already issued and soon to come.

1. The first stamp in the history of independent Belarus depicted the ‘Cross of Yevfrosiniya Polotskaya. It appeared in March 1992 and coincided with the new millennium of the Belarusian Orthodox Church.

2. The 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Belarus and the People’s Republic of China was celebrated last year, inspiring a stamp showing a Belarusian bison in the company of a Chinese panda.

3. Last year, the Ministry of Communications and Informatisation issued stamps of the ‘Eared Hedgehog’ and ‘White-breasted Hedgehog’: a joint project by Belarus and Kazakhstan.

4. Since 1994, Belarus has issued a series entitled ‘Birds’, depicting golden eagles, mute swans, storks, martin, curlews and many others. The stamps have flown from Belarus around the world. Last year, the Public Organisation APB-BirdLife Belarus declared the black swift bird of the year, inspiring a corresponding stamp.

5. Belarusian stamps teach us not only about the flora and fauna of our country, but of Belarusian sculptors and artists. A well-known painting by Ferdynand Ruszczyc — The Church (held by the National Art Museum of Belarus) — was depicted on a stamp eleven years ago.

6. The ‘Belarusian National Clothes’ series is interesting, dedicated to costumes from particular Belarusian regions. One stamp is devoted to the 19th century costume of the Bykhov Historical and Ethnographic District and was released in 1997.

7. Stamps have often portrayed well-known icons — such as ‘Our Lady Hodegetria of Smolensk’ from the 16th century. Other icons shown on stamps include ‘Saint Paraskeva’ from the mid-16th century and ‘Saint Ilya’ of the late 17th century. This year, a stamp is being issued with the image of the icon of the Mother of God of Budslav, marking the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the icon in Budslav.

8. A popular image for stamps is that of famous monuments: churches, castles and other buildings. These often become popular worldwide, being representative of a nation’s identity. Just last year, 24 such stamps were issued, including depictions of Kamenets Tower, Lida Castle, the Red Church in Minsk and Kossovo Palace.

9. Every year, stamps dedicated to sports are issued. In 2011, a series dedicated to equestrianism proved popular.

10. Of course, no state holidays escape attention. That celebrating the New Year in 1996 is among our favourites.
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