Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2002 International Women's Day 8.3.2002

International Women's Day 2002. International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women's Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation, and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political, and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended the culture of many countries, primarily in Europe, especially those in the Soviet Bloc. In some regions, the day lost its political flavor, and became simply an occasion for people to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. In other regions, however, the political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner. Some people celebrate the day by wearing purple ribbons.

Thank you Merja.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Eurovision 2007 9.5.2007

The latest winner is Måns Zelmerlöw of Sweden, who won the 2015 contest in Vienna, Austria with "Heroes".

Thank you Ari for this lovely First Day Cover of Eurovision 2007.

Ari gave me this lovelyFDC with the impressive minisheet issued by Finland in 2007. Several countries have issued Eurovision stamps in the past, but special mention must go to… Finland again! In 2007 it marked its hosting of the event with an issue celebrating some of its previous entrants, including, of course, Lordi, the awesome glam horror metal band who had won it for Finland the previous year (2006).  

The Eurovision Song Contest (French: Concours Eurovision de la chanson), often shortened to ESC orEurovision, is the longest running annual TV song competition held, primarily, among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 1956. The competition was based upon the existing Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy.

Each member, or invited, country submits a song to be performed on live television and radio and then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. The contest has been broadcast every year for sixty years, since its inauguration in 1956 and is one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. It is also one of the most watched non-sporting events in the world, with audience figures having been quoted in recent years as anything between 100 million and 600 million internationally. Eurovision has also been broadcast outside Europe to such places as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam, although these countries do not compete. However, Australia was invited to compete as a guest country in 2015 for the 60 years of Eurovision celebration. Since 2000, the contest has also been broadcast over the Internet, via the Eurovision website.

Winning the Eurovision Song Contest provides an opportunity for the winning artists to capitalise on the surrounding publicity and further their careers. Artists whose international careers were directly launched into the spotlight following their participation at Eurovision include: Italian Domenico Modugno, who came third with the song "Nel blu dipinto di blu" ("In the sky, painted blue", popularly known as "Volare") in 1958; ABBA, who won the contest for Sweden in 1974 with "Waterloo"; Céline Dion, who won for Switzerland in 1988 with the French-language song "Ne partez pas sans moi" ("Don't leave without me"); the Spaniard Julio Iglesias, who has sold over 300 million records worldwide, was beaten into fourth place by Dana, winning for Ireland in 1970 with "All Kinds of Everything"; and Bucks Fizz, who won in 1981 for the United Kingdom with "Making Your Mind Up".

Sunday, May 24, 2015

EUROPA80 - Spain - José Ortega y Gasset 28.4.1980

The theme for Europa series of stamps in 1980 was "famous people". Accordingly Spain selected José Ortega y Gassetas as their subject for the stamp.

José Ortega y Gasset (9 May 1883 – 18 October 1955) was a Spanish liberal philosopher and essayist working during the first half of the 20th century while Spain oscillated between monarchy, republicanism and dictatorship. His philosophy has been characterized as a "philosophy of life" which "comprised a long-hidden beginning in a pragmatist metaphysics inspired by William James, and with a general method from a realist phenomenology imitating Edmund Husserl, which served both his proto-existentialism (prior to Martin Heidegger's) and his realist historicism which has been compared to both Wilhelm Dilthey and Benedetto Croce."

Thank you Merja for this FDc.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sint Eustatius & Sint Maarten

Sint Eustatius, also known affectionately to the locals as Statia or Statius, is a Caribbean island and a special municipality (officially “public body”) of the Netherlands.
The island lies in the northern Leeward Islands portion of the West Indies, southeast of the Virgin Islands. Sint Eustatius is immediately to the northwest of Saint Kitts, and to the southeast of Saba. The regional capital is Oranjestad.
The island has an area of 21 square kilometres (8.1 sq mi). In the 2001 census, the population was recorded as 3,543 inhabitants, with a population density of 169 inhabitants per square kilometre. The official language is Dutch but English is the "language of everyday life" on the island and education is solely in English. A local English-based creole is also spoken informally. Travellers to the island by air arrive through F.D. Roosevelt Airport.
Formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles, Sint Eustatius became a special municipality within The Netherlands on 10 October 2010.
The name of the island, “Sint Eustatius”, is the Dutch name for Saint Eustace (also spelled Eustachius or Eustathius), a legendary Christian martyr, known in Spanish as San Eustaquio and in Portuguese as Santo Eustáquio or Santo Eustácio.

The other stamps on the FDCs has St Maarten printed on them. Sint Maarten is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It encompasses the southern 40% of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, while the northern 60% of the island constitutes the French overseas collectivity of Saint-Martin. Its capital is Philipsburg. It has a population of 37,000 on an area of 34 km2 (13 sq mi).

Before 10 October 2010, Sint Maarten was known as the Island Territory of Sint Maarten (Dutch: Eilandgebied Sint Maarten), and was one of five island territories (eilandgebieden) that constituted the Netherlands Antilles.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Folklore and Mythology 19.5.2002

These four se-tennant stamps were issued by Brazil on 19.5.2002 to highlight facets of folklore and mythology in stories for children.
Thank you Merja for this lovely FDC.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

1992 - Madrid Cultural Capital of Europe 29.7.1991

On May 27, 1988, the Council of Ministers of Culture of the European Community decided to declare Madrid as the European Capital of Culture for 1992. Amongst the four stamps issued to celebrate this occasion were these two on the FDC.
(25+5) Álvaro de Bazán, 1st Marquis of Santa Cruz de Mudela (December 12, 1526 – February 9, 1588), was a Spanish admiral.

(45+5) The Bank of Spain (Banco de España), is the national central bank of Spain. Established in Madrid in 1782 by Charles III, today the bank is a member of the European System of Central Banks. It is also the national supervisor of the Spanish banking system. Its activity is regulated by the Law of Autonomy of the Banco de España.

The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension.
Preparing a European Capital of Culture can be an opportunity for the city to generate considerable cultural, social and economic benefits and it can help foster urban regeneration, change the city's image and raise its visibility and profile on an international scale.
In 1985, former actress Melina Mercouri, then Greece’s Minister of Culture, and her French counterpart Jack Lang came up with the idea of designating an annual Capital of Culture to bring Europeans closer together by highlighting the richness and diversity of European cultures and raising awareness of their common history and values.
The Commission of the European Union manages the title and each year the Council of Ministers of the European Union formally designates European Capitals of Culture: more than 40 cities have been designated so far.
An international panel of cultural experts is in charge of assessing the proposals of cities for the title according to criteria specified by the European Union.
A 2004 study conducted for the European Commission, know as the "Palmer report", demonstrated that the choice of European Capital of Culture served as a catalyst for the cultural development and the transformation of the city.[1] Consequently, the beneficial socio-economic development and impact for the chosen city are now also considered in determining the chosen cities.
With the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Expo '92 in Seville and a host of quincentennial celebrations throughout the land, 1992 was indeed the Year of Spain. Not to be upstaged by these events, the Spanish capital, Madrid, has also planned a rich agenda of events, activities and spectacles to fulfill its role as 1992 European Cultural Capital.

In many ways this honour marks Madrid's recent coming of age as a world-class capital. Not since Spain's Golden Age in the 16th and 17th centuries has Madrid been such a hotbed of cultural and commercial activity. In the freshly democratic 1980s, the movida madrilena, which loosely translates as the Madrid Happening, kicked off the capital's whirlwind comeback with a social renaissance that sparked the city's long dormant vitality and imagination.

Thank you Merja.