Mattie the Goose-boy stamp aims to promote philately among the youth

April 12th, 2015 got to know that Magyar Posta issued a stamp block with a surcharge to support youth stamp collecting. The theme of the stamp block is provided by the illustration of the epic poem based on a folk tale Mattie the Goose-boy by Mihály Fazekas. The stamp shows Mattie the Goose-boy with his geese. The new issue features an acrylic painting by Edit Szalma and was put into circulation on the 24th of March.

Mattie the Goose-boy was first published in 1815 in Vienna without the author’s knowledge. Mihály Fazekas wrote a protesting letter to the publisher on 15 November 1815, in which he explained that he had refrained from publishing his work in that form after he wrote it in 1804 because it had not won the approval of his fellow writer Ferenc Kazinczy in 1805.

The work's main character is a simple gooseherd, Mattie the Goose-boy, who is smart enough to trick the rich and greedy lord of the manor on a number of occasions. Although the author set the poem in the Middle Ages, he wrote a critique of his own times.

Mattie is a typical folk-tale character. The story is quintessentially Hungarian with Hungarian peasants and a Hungarian lord of the manor set in a Hungarian landscape. The poem is richly endowed with folk expressions and idioms, and has a humorous style reflecting sympathy with the poor.