December marks the beginning of Christmas and festive time that is celebrated by people worldwide. Many postal services devote their annual issues to this great holiday. But when did this important philatelic event take place for the first time?
StampNews.com invites our readers to find out what country issued the first Christmas stamp and how the first festive stamp looked like, as this is a subject of much debate.
It is widely considered that the first official Christmas stamp was issued in 1898. It was a Canadian stamp featuring the text “XMAS 1898”. This was originally meant to be a celebration of the inauguration of the Imperial Penny Postage rate. The main feature of the stamp is the world map, which highlights in red the extent of the British Empire. As it shows, the Empire reached all around the globe, and this is emphasized by the text at the bottom stating “We hold a vaster empire than has ever been”.
Many people reckon that the first Christmas stamp was issued in Denmark on December 6th 1904. The Christmas stamp was a little more expensive than a regular stamp, as the Post Master believed that the public would be willing to pay an additional charitable fee to send out their Christmas mail. The proceeds from the sale of Christmas stamps were donated to a foundation that helped troubled children.
The stamp depicts the sitting queen of Denmark at the time of issue – Queen Louise. The Queen is depicted in the center of the stamp, with the Danish coat of arms below the image, and the royal crown above her. Although the Danish Christmas stamp from 1904 was the first official Christmas stamp, it was not the first stamp to feature Christmas on it.
Finally, there is Hungary. Many people think the 1943 Hungarian stamps to be the first real Christmas stamps as they feature religious imagery. These stamps depicted the Message to the Shepherds, the Nativity, and the Adoration of the Magi.
So who can lay claim to issuing the first Christmas stamp? Let’s solve this controversy together!
Sourced by philangles.co.uk, westminsterinternationalshop.com, blog.stamps.org