Putting the ‘Spring’ in Stamps
With Spring upon us, we take a look into The Postal Museum's collection to find the very best stamps of the season.
The month of March brings in the changing of the season, with both the Equinox and the first day of Spring. It is a time for rebirth, regrowth and renewal, acting as a metaphor for better times. March is the third month in the Gregorian calendar and the first in the Roman. Named after Mars the god of War, March was a time to farm and begin warfare again after the cold winter months.
It is at this point of the year that we begin to feel the Earth get slightly warmer as the planet tilts towards the sun. This season brings unstable weather, with a greater chance of snow in March than Christmas, and an increase in April Showers. The stamp below depicting ‘Rain’ references the phrase ‘raining cats and dogs’, believed to originate in the 17th century, when dead cats and dogs were found floating down streets during heavy rain.
There are many flowers associated with spring. The narcissus, or ‘daffodil’ as it is more commonly known, is also the flower of March. These predominantly bloom in white or yellow and are the flower/symbol of Wales, as depicted in the stamps below. Other flowers associated with this period are the bluebell, the primrose and the tulip.
The stamp below depicts the European Hare, from which the saying ‘as mad as a March hare’ comes, due to its strange actions such as boxing during its March breeding season. Author Lewis Carroll’s March Hare was made famous in his novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, where, accompanied by the Mad Hatter, they have a continuous tea party.
With Spring comes Easter, a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as told in the New Testament. Easter is in fact a moveable feast, and falls on the first Sunday following the full moon after the Spring Equinox. Eggs are traditionally decorated and given to children at Easter, although many now associate them with chocolate treats.
Spring is about change and growth, which is especially apt for The Postal Museum right now, as building work gets underway on our new museum. This will be a rebirth for our organisation as we open our doors to the public, with more items on show than ever before. What changes will Spring bring for you?
– Georgina Tomlinson, Philatelic Assistant