State postal service Omniva has issued this year's Christmas stamps, an event which also marks the thirtieth anniversary of the first festive stamps to have been issued in Estonia following the restoration of independence.
Omniva board chair Mart Mägi said: "The first Christmas stamp was issued in Estonia in 1992 and depicted a stylized Christmas tree. These stamps were also significant in another sense – namely that they were the first postage stamps printed in Estonia after the restoration of independence."
"Over the years, many Estonian artists have created Christmas stamps with very different designs. This year's Christmas stamps also delight us with their beautiful message and design.," Mägi added.
While Estonia was in challenging times then as now, they were at least optimistic times following the restoration of independence, after a half-century of illegal Soviet occupation.
Artist Made Balbat, who created this year's festive designs, says she was inspired by the image of the guardian angel when designing the Christmas stamps and cards.
She said: "I chose a guardian angel primarily because we are living in very difficult and challenging times at the moment. The guardian angel protects us, watches over us, and guides us to the right path. It is important to remember not to lose faith and hope."
400,000 stamps for domestic use, along with 150,000 for international mail, have been printed by Vaba Maa, along with commemorative cards, and a first-day cover is being issued at the iconic post office on Toompea.
The stamps will be available to purchase online, as well as from post offices.
The 1992 Christmas stamps were designed by Uko Künnap with 30-cent and 2 EEK denominations – the Estonian Kroon was the national currency from summer 1992 to January 2011.
A selection of Estonian Christmas stamps published over the decades can be viewed here.
Made Balbat is a graduate of the Estonian Academy of Arts with a degree in graphic art and her more recent digital media focus includes literature, well-known stories, and fairy tales. In the field of graphic design, she has designed a wide range of books, calendars, and postcards.
Editor: Andrew Whyte