Friday 4 December 2020

Angel (Malta, 1967)

Continuing yesterday’s angel theme, here’s an example from Malta from 1967. It’s one of a set of three, which tesselate along the perforations: two this way up and one which is narrower at the top and wider at the bottom. The three stamps together form a narrative of the Nativity, which is pretty cool.

The artwork is by Emvin Cremona, who was Malta’s premier stamp designer and one of the country’s best known artists of the 20th century.

In terms of Christmas traditions, if you go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, the sermon is likely to be given by a local child rather than the priest. You’re also likely to see a lot of gulbienas, also known as vetches. This is a species of wheat whose seeds are placed on cottonwool and left in dark cupboards to grow during the four or five weeks before Christmas. The description I read made it sound like vetches would be wheat fronds or ferns but it’s way better than that:the resulting plant looks like crazy white hair (think Doc Brown) – see the second link for some awesome gulbienas!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emvin_Cremona

https://holidappy.com/holidays/How-to-use-vetches-gulbiena-as-Christmas-decorations-Maltese-Tradition

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