Monday, May 7, 2012
150th Anniversary of Kalevala 28.2.1983
This historic FDS with the iconic stamps was issued on 28.02.1985, in order to celebrate 150 years of the Kalevala. The Kalevala is a 19th century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology. It is regarded as the national epic of Finland and is one of the most significant works of Finnish literature. The Kalevala played an instrumental role in the development of the Finnish national identity, the intensification of Finland's language strife and the growing sense of nationality that ultimately led to Finland's independence from Russia in 1917. The first version of The Kalevala (called The Old Kalevala) was published in 1835. The version most commonly known today was first published in 1849 and consists of 22,795 verses, divided into fifty songs (Finnish: runot). The title can be interpreted as "The land of Kaleva" or "Kalevia".
The postage stamp on the left (1.50) depicts the Finnish oral poet Petri Shemeikka. The picture is based on a photo taken by Samuli Paulaharju. The postage stamp on the right (2.10) depicts the Finnish oral poet Larin Paraske. The painting is done by Albert Edelfelt, but there is an error: she didn’t play the kantele at all.