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Philately news

On the 12th of April, the International Day of Aviation and Astronautics is celebrated. To mark this occasion, Lithuania Post is inviting all citizens and guests of Vilnius City to visit the new philatelic exhibition on astronautics hosted by Vilnius Main Post Office.

This time visitors of the exhibition will get acquainted with the exhibition of Juozas Urbonas, philatelist from Kaunas, on the theme the Chinese Space Programme.

“Why I started collecting stamps on the Chinese Space Programme? When I started collecting various exhibits I had chosen unknown themes. The Chinese Space Programme was the right one. On the other hand, this topic has a symbolic meaning to me: I used to serve in the army in the Tien Shan Mountains close to the border of China,” Mr Urbonas said. He started collecting exhibits for this collection ten years ago.

The author of the exhibition is glad that he had an opportunity to correspond with three philatelists from China who helped to enrich his collection and reveal the whole development of the Chinese space. China’s Space Programme proved that it was of the same level as Russia and the USA were; also, China is the third country in the world in terms of achievements in the spheres of astronautic science and technics.

Visitors of the exhibition arranged by Mr Urbonas will see over 300 stamps, postcards, and envelopes from around the world revealing the theme of Chinese astronautics. The philatelic set reflects almost the whole development of Chinese space. Also, the exhibition contains especially precious and rare exhibits such as a stamp of yellow colour, autographs of Chinese astronauts, and etc.

The philatelic exhibition the Chinese Space Programme will be open until April 26 at Vilnius Main Post Office.

In the course of a year, Lithuania Post issues on average 25-30 postage stamps. Lithuania Post also provides courier, logistics, and financial intermediation services.

Postage stamps from the series The Red Book of Lithuania will be supplemented by two new postage stamps dedicated to endangered birds, namely the barn owl and the Eurasian pygmy owl. The new stamps will be released this Saturday, on April 5.

Each stamp will be released in the edition of 80 thousand copies. The nominal values of the stamps are LTL 2 for the stamp featuring the Barn Owl, and LTL 3 for the one with the Eurasian Pygmy Owl. The author of the both stamps is Irma Balakauskaitė.

Along with the stamps, the first day cover and the first day sheet will be released. To commemorate each species, two maximum cards and a booklet in the edition of 5000 copies will be released. On Saturday letter-post items paid by the new stamps will be marked by the first day cancellation at Vilnius Main Post Office.

The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is especially rare bird inscribed into the Red Book of Lithuania. The barn owl tends to dwell in pastures, in hilly plots with plenty of uncut grass, and the places with a large population of rodents. They feed on mice, voles, shrews, and crickets.

The Eurasian Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium passerinum) is one of rare owl species inscribed into The Red Book of Lithuania. Usually it is found in coniferous woods. They nest in trees and artificial cavities: woodpecker’s hollows, starling’s nesting-boxes, or hollows.

In the course of a year, Lithuania Post issues on average 25-30 postage stamps. Lithuania Post also provides courier, logistics, and financial intermediation services.

This year Lithuania is celebrating its 10th anniversary of the accession to NATO(North Atlantic Treaty Organisation). To mark this occasion, Lithuania Post is going to release a new postage stamp on March 29, the date which falls with the accession day.

The anniversary stamp has been designed by the artist Rūta Kajackaitė. The stamp features the logo of NATO and a stylized flag of our country. The stamp will be released in the edition of 80 000 copies with a nominal value of LTL2.15.

On the release day, correspondence paid by the new stamp will be marked by the first day cancellation at Vilnius Main Post Office. Along with the stamp, the first day cover will be released.

NATO is a military alliance joining free and independent states having united to ensure international peace and to safeguard their independence by diplomatic and, if needed, military means. The organization’s decisions are made by unanimous agreement of all members.

To protect their sovereignty, Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Italy, the United States of America, Canada, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and France signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington on the 4th of April in 1949. This was the beginning of NATO. Starting with 1952, new members joined the organization.

At the initial stage, NATO kept peace in Euro-Atlantic region. Following the conception adopted in 1999, peacekeeping operations also take place in the territories other than covered by the member states of NATO.

In the course of a year, Lithuania Post issues on average 25-30 postage stamps. Lithuania Post also provides courier, logistic, and financial intermediation services.

Lithuania Post wishes to remind that everyone can suggest themes for the stamps to be released in the course of the next year. The deadline set is March 30. The Stamp Release Commission will select the winners, and they will be awarded special prizes.

“We are very glad that more and more people get involved into the stamp design process. The number of suggested themes has already exceeded the numbers of the last year despite the fact that citizens still have a couple of weeks to make their suggestions regarding the stamp themes for 2015,” Head of Philatelic Department of Lithuania Post Ervinas Vaišnoras said.

Last year Lithuania Post received suggestions on more than a thousand and a half of various themes. Last year, the Commission has selected 17 themes that will be featured on 19 stamps, two souvenir sheets, and two pre-printed postcards to be released this year. The larger part of the themes selected by the Commission last year has been offered by the citizens.

No restrictions with regard to the offered themes are applied. Suggestions can be submitted by residents, companies, and organizations. Should the suggested theme appear to be really original, Lithuania Post will release a stamp with the suggested topic, and the author of the theme will receive a prize.

The themes for the next year’s stamps can be submitted online on the website of Lithuania Post at www.post.lt until March 30.

After the themes for the stamps of 2015 are selected, the stamp design contest will be launched. The contest will be open to everyone.

In the course of a year, Lithuania Post issues on average 25-30 stamps. Lithuania Post also provides courier, logistic, and financial intermediation services.

This year Vytautas Magnus University is celebrating its 25th anniversary of restoration. To mark this occasion, Lithuania Post is going to release the new stamp under the title 25th Anniversary of Vytautas Magnus University Restoration. The stamp will be released on Saturday, March 8.

The stamp designed by the artist Domantas Vildžiūnas features the logo of the university depicting the Great Duke of Lithuania Vytautas the Great in his throne. The stamp will be released in the edition of 80 thousand copies with a nominal value of LTL1.55.

On March 8, the Main Kaunas Post Office will cancel letter-post items paid by the new stamp with the first day cancellation. Along with the stamp, the first day cover will be released.

The history of Vytautas Magnus University goes back to 1922 marking establishment of the university after reorganization of High Courses. During this period, the university was the only in Lithuania. It became a vitally important centre for the country‘s culture, science, and modern and intellectual mind.

In 1930, celebrating the 500th anniversary of Vytautas the Great, the university in Kaunas was granted the name of Vytautas Magnus University.

When the Soviet government closed the university in 1950, the academic traditions of the university were cherished in emigration. In 1989, under united efforts of the scientists in Lithuania and abroad, the Vytautas Magnus University was restored.

In the course of a year, Lithuania Post issues on average 25-30 stamps. Lithuania Post also provides courier, logistic, and financial intermediation services.

The residents of Alytus interested in their local history are invited to Alytus Main Post Office to visit the exhibition Letters from Alytus arranged by Alytus Ethnographic Museum. The museum has about 100 exhibits representing postal cancellations of Alytus City from the period of the Tsarist Russia.

“Today we are all aware that the envelope of the posted letter must bear the stamp and the postal cancellation. No one raises questions what they mean and what they are for. The postal cancellation, like the postage stamp, has its history and contents and reflects the land’s, region’s, or country’s political developments. These changes can be traced looking at the exhibits of the exhibition Letters from Alytus,” Head of History Division of Alytus Ethnographic Museum Vilma Jenčiulytė said.

For the first time, the postal cancellation was used in 1660 in England. It was round in shape with the first letters denoting the month in one side, and the posting date in another side.

The oldest cancellations did not carry the function of present days, i.e. to cancel the stamp‘s value, as there were no postage stamps. In those times, the cancellations were used to mark postage paid.

It was the middle of the 19th century when the cancellations became universally used. By then, the date was mainly marked with hand, and the cancellation with the name of the place was put aside. When postage stamps appeared, they were cancelled with another type of cancellation (not the date cancellation). After a while, the same cancellation was used to cancel postage stamps.

The first facts about the post office in Alytus go back to the 18th century. At the end of the 19th century, there were 2 postal points located on the left side of the river: in the city and at the railway station. On Vilnius side of Alytus, the postal point was located at Jiezno Street (until the breakout of World War I).

In the exhibition arranged by Alytus Ethnographic Museum, the oldest mark of the cancellation comes from the year 1908. This is the postal mark of the Tsarist Russia used at the first Alytus’ postal point. It says “ОЛИТА ВИЛ.”. After Lithuania has gained its independence, for a while, the post office had no cancellation; therefore, the indications were written by hand. Later on, postal cancellations were constantly changing along with political situation in Lithuania.

The exhibition of historical cancellations Letters from Alytus will be open until March 31.

In relation with the traditional Lithuanian celebration, namely Shrove Tuesday, Lithuania Post is going to release a new postage stamp. Although Shrove Tuesday will be celebrated on March 4 this year, the stamp will be put into circulation on February 15, Saturday.

The new stamp will be released in the edition of 80 thousand copies with a nominal value of LTL2. The stamp has been designed by Irma Balakauskaitė who had used the photographs of Throve Tuesday masks stored at Aušros Museum of Šiauliai City.

Along with the stamp, the first day cover will be released. On Saturday, letter-post items paid by the new stamps at Vilnius Main Post Office will be marked by the first day cancellation.

Shrove Tuesday is a winter celebration concentrated on chasing away winter and capturing spring. Although the celebration has pagan origins, it has been lately closely related with Christianity and has become well known across Europe.

Masks and disguising are the most popular attributes of the celebration. The Throve Tuesday clothes must be fancy and somehow exceptional or unusual. The masks were usually made of bark, budge, and animal skulls. Lately, they were made of paper, cardboard, and other materials.

The most important Shrove Tuesday characters come from daily country life. As a rule, the masks had the features of an ugly old man with big nose, awry gap-toothed mouth,and asymmetric eyes.To make hair, beard, moustache, people used bark, horsehair, flax, oakum. Some masks used to be more expressive with big curved noses, and the others were plane.

Shrove Tuesday is followed by Lent, a Christian season of penitence lasting until Easter Sunday. In the course of seven weeks, it is recommended to fast and abstain from meat and fat food.

Shrove Tuesday is the last winter day when people can glut themselves on rich meat dishes. From early morning women make meals, no hard works are done. Traditional Shrove Tuesday dishes are pancakes, hotchpotch, and meat jelly.

In the course of a year, Lithuania Post issues on average 25-30 stamps. Lithuania Post also provides courier, logistic, and financial intermediation services.

Tomorrow, January 31, the Chinese people will start celebrating the Year of the Horse. To mark this occasion, on Saturday, February 1, Lithuania Post will release a souvenir sheet.

The souvenir sheet named The Chinese New Year features the symbol of this year – the horse. The souvenir sheet will be released in the edition of 45 thousand copies with a nominal value of LTL7. The souvenir sheet dedicated to the Chinese New Year has been created by the artist Greta Gruzdaitytė.

On Saturday, letter-post items bearing the stamp will be marked by the first day cancellation. Along with the souvenir sheet, the first day cover will be released.

In China, the beginning of the New Year is called the Spring Festival. This is the most important traditional festival in China and other counties falling under the East Asian cultural sphere: Japan, Vietnam, and Korea.

The date of the Spring Festival is set following exact astronomical observations of the longitude of the sun and the phases of the moon. The Chinese New Year starts on a new moon and ends on a full-moon. The Chinese calendar does not match the Gregorian calendar; thus, according to the universally accepted system, the date of the Spring Festival varies every year falling on a day between January 21 and February 20. As a rule, the festival is celebrated on the second new moon fallowing solstice.

During the New Year, the Chinese people are visiting relatives and friends. Following traditions, people put on new apparel, clean up their houses and decorate them in red. Adults give children the red envelopes containing money. On the eve of the New Year, the whole family gathers together to taste dishes of the festive dinner, namely dumplings, New Year pies, various meat and fish dishes.

In the course of a year, Lithuania Post releases on average 25-30 postage stamps. Lithuania Post also provides courier, logistic, and financial intermediation services.

As usually, with the beginning of the new year, Lithuania Post is awaiting suggestion from the public on themes for the stamps of 2015. The themes for the future stamps can be submitted until March 30.

“It is the third subsequent year when the citizens can give their suggestions on the themes of postage stamps. I am very glad that we receive really creative and original ideas. Some of them have already turned into postage stamps. We hope that the citizens will be active this year as well and will get involved into the stamp design process,” Head of Lithuania Post’s Philatelic Department Ervinas Vaišnoras said.

The themes for the stamps of 2015 can be offered by anyone: residents, organizations, or companies. This can be done on the website of Lithuania Post at www.post.lt until March 30.

If the topic suggested turns to be really original, Lithuania Post will release a stamp on this theme, and the author will receive Lithuania Post’s prize.

Last year, the majority of the themes selected by the Commission had been suggested by the public. The Commission for Stamps Publishing had selected these out of suggested: 300th Anniversary of Kristijonas Donelaitis; 500th Anniversary of the Battle of Orsha; Save the Baltic Sea,; Lithuanian National Minorities. The Karaites; 25th Anniversary of the Baltic Chain of Freedom; 10th Anniversary of Lithuania's Accession to NATO and EU; Birds. The Barn Owl; 90th Anniversary of the First Lithuania Song Festival; and Shrove Tuesday Masks. These themes will be featured on the stamps to be issued this year.

In the course of a year, Lithuania Post issues on average 25-30 stamps. Lithuania Post also provides courier, logistic, and financial intermediation services.

With greatest winter holidays approaching, Lithuania Post starts marking postal items with special Christmas cancellations. The special Christmas cancellations will be used from December 2 until January 4 at all main post offices and post offices in Druskininkai and Palanga.

With the special Christmas cancellation, both letter post items and parcels will be marked. There is an inscription “Kalėdų paštas“ (Christmas mail) on the top of the cancellation, and the name of the city beneath the inscription. The cancellation date will be seen in the middle of the cancellation mark, and a fragment of a Christmas Town - at the bottom.

All in all, Christmas cancellations will be used at 12 post offices: in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Panevėžys, Alytus, Marijampolė, Utena, Tauragė, and Telšiai Main Post Offices as well as at post offices in Druskininkai and Palanga.

To create Christmas mood, apart from special cancellations, Lithuania Post offers a novelty – seasonal packages. The largest post offices offer for purchase special boxes suitable for sending goods. There are 3 sizes (XS, M, and L) of the packages decorated with seasonal ornaments. The price, depending on size, varies from LTL2.99 to LTL4.69.

The Public Limited Company Lietuvos paštas runs the widest network of postal access points in Lithuania. Lithuania Post provides postal, logistics, and financial intermediation services.

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