New Year 2015 – heartwarming feast table stamp by Croatian Post

December 6th, 2014 is glad to introduce a new festive stamp designed by Croatian Post. Fest table is the motif of this philatelic issue the aim of which is to unite and gather families. The item has been already unveiled and will be released on the 4th of December.

Fast food, coffee to go: they have overwhelmed today's world. Not only that people are not standing any more while eating, but they eat walking, i.e. in all kinds of movement: they eat functionally - like a car taking gasoline at the petrol station to be able to drive on. Still, the function of taking food is much more complex and its impoverishment is a sad sign of impoverishment of human interrelations.

And a meal used to be a ritual, a special ritual of participation – to which The Last Supper is a general human archetype and the Host a mysterious symbol. Along with "to eat" there was in use also "to feast";"to feast" is related to "festivity", and both relate to "treasure" (TN: by etymology in Croatian language), something dear, precious and safeguarded.

Festive eating assumed gathering of people, especially family gathering: a point in day when ideas and events are exchanged, when the meal is the time of belonging and the table its beautiful stage. Today, the families who lunch or dine together are quite rare: each individual is borne by his/her own rhythm of living and so the days go on in courteous passing by.

When Croatian Post proposed to children the feast table as the motif for New Year stamp, it was hard to imagine what results the proposal would bring. There was anything here: warm atmosphere of Slavonic rooms with multicolour tissues, opulent hens on tray, pigs with mouse's muzzles and their curly tails, doubled walnut rolls, lace tablecloths; there was even a table set in a snowy landscape as a feast from a fairy tale, there were human legs that in the same way as table legs supported the abundantly burdened plate, happy cats and dogs at the edge of the depiction...

There were also merry children and singing families, and one child was wriggling equally successful as the others in a wheelchair... Many beautiful drawings were, however, not suitable for a stamp, either because of too many too tiny details which become illegible when decreased, or because of their sometimes three-dimensional technique. Much has to be taken account of, when one wants to produce a postage stamp.

All drawings which were received, and there were more than 800 from all parts of Croatia, could immediately be divided in two basic groups. Some presented tables without people and others tables with people. In judging the artistic value and the suitability for stamp production this difference played no role. There were wonderful tables full of exquisite food and decorations, candles, fruit and greenery.

There were equally so beautiful groups of merry beings gathered around such tables. And when the final, in no case easy decision was made in favour of the drawing by Ema Tufeković from the school Tenja, it was because in it happily coincided the scale of depiction, artistic value, attractive yellow colour of light, clearness, good composition and the atmosphere of joy. In short: a festivity with the feast table in centre.

However, the tables without people were still prepared by some invisible persons - people who set everything on them: they are waiting for their people and their animals. Those other tables with people are already at the culminating point of festivity. And the festivity greatly consists just in everybody being together. A festivity is when people are together and when they cheer together.