Photo 13:24 06 Dec 2023

"Gifts of Saint Nicholas": Ukraine's national post issues new charity stamp

Photo: Ukrposhta

Ukraine is celebrating Saint Nicholas Day on December 6 for the first time, following the Ukrainian authorities and Orthodox Church of Ukraine adopting a new calendar.

To mark the occasion, the national postal service Ukrposhta has unveiled a charitable postage stamp titled "Gifts of Saint Nicholas," Rubryka reports.

The stamp edition, featuring the work of renowned Ukrainian artist-illustrator Kostiantyn Lavro, amounts to 600,000 copies.

Notably, in 2023, Ukrainians will celebrate Saint Nicholas Day on December 6, which is also the Day of Armed Forces Day of Ukraine.

So, what does the new stamp look like?

The "Gifts of Saint Nicholas" stamp combines two significant Ukrainian holidays, maintaining the traditional image of Saint Nicholas as a kind grandfather-wizard while adding contemporary details. 

Марка Святий Миколай

Nicholas isn't flying on a sleigh through the sky but riding a Cossack horse. On his shoulders is a camouflage sack filled with military equipment like planes, tanks, and missiles crucial for the Ukrainian army's victory.

Марка Святий Миколай

The stamp symbolically depicts the triumph over the enemy: under the horse's hooves lies a trampled symbol of Russia — the double-headed eagle, which Nicholas pierces with a staff, resembling a spear.

Ukrposhta noted that the stamp costs UAH 18, corresponding to the tariff for sending a non-priority regular letter weighing up to 250 grams within Ukraine.

Марка Святий Миколай

Photo: Ukrposhta

In addition to this cost, there is a UAH 5.00 as a charity. The proceeds from the sale of the postage stamp will be directed to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The price of a sheet of stamps is UAH115.

It is also reported that Ukrposhta, in line with tradition, has released a "First Day" envelope and an artistic card alongside the postage stamp.

Starting from December 6, the stamp can be purchased at Ukrposhta branches throughout the country and the official online store.

About changes in the celebration dates of several state holidays:

On May 24, 2023, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, at the Archieratical Council, approved a complete transition to the new Julian calendar from September 1, 2023. This calendar is followed by the majority of Orthodox churches worldwide. According to this calendar, Christmas is celebrated on December 25, not January 7.

Therefore, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine will observe:

  • Christmas on December 25, not January 7,
  • Pokrova (Intercession) on October 1,
  • Epiphany on January 6,
  • Saint Nicholas Day on December 6.

Some fixed holidays remain unchanged, like Baptism of the Lord (Theophany) – January 6 (January 19), Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (Candlemas) – February 2 (February 15), Annunciation – March 25 (April 7), Transfiguration of the Lord (Savior) – August 6 (August 19), Nativity of the Virgin Mary – September 8 (September 21), Exaltation of the Holy Cross – September 14 (September 27), and Protection of the Virgin Mary – October 1 (October 14).

From December 6 to January 7, the postal and delivery service Nova Poshta will travel around the country on "magical trucks," alongside which festive fairs will be organized.

In the center of Kyiv, Ukrposhta opened the New Year's Postal residence, accepting letters from children and adults who want to write to Saint Nicholas about their wishes and dreams.

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