In relation with the traditional Lithuanian celebration, namely Shrove Tuesday, Lithuania Post is going to release a new postage stamp. Although Shrove Tuesday will be celebrated on March 4 this year, the stamp will be put into circulation on February 15, Saturday.
The new stamp will be released in the edition of 80 thousand copies with a nominal value of LTL2. The stamp has been designed by Irma Balakauskaitė who had used the photographs of Throve Tuesday masks stored at Aušros Museum of Šiauliai City.
Along with the stamp, the first day cover will be released.
Shrove Tuesday is a winter celebration concentrated on chasing away winter and capturing spring. Although the celebration has pagan origins, it has been lately closely related with Christianity and has become well known across Europe.
Masks and disguising are the most popular attributes of the celebration. The Throve Tuesday clothes must be fancy and somehow exceptional or unusual. The masks were usually made of bark, budge, and animal skulls. Lately, they were made of paper, cardboard, and other materials.
The most important Shrove Tuesday characters come from daily country life. As a rule, the masks had the features of an ugly old man with big nose, awry gap-toothed mouth, and asymmetric eyes. To make hair, beard, moustache, people used bark, horsehair, flax, oakum. Some masks used to be more expressive with big curved noses, and the others were plane.
Shrove Tuesday is followed by Lent, a Christian season of penitence lasting until Easter Sunday. In the course of seven weeks, it is recommended to fast and abstain from meat and fat food.
Shrove Tuesday is the last winter day when people can glut themselves on rich meat dishes. From early morning women make meals, no hard works are done. Traditional Shrove Tuesday dishes are pancakes, hotchpotch, and meat jelly.