I seem to be perpetually late with my holidays–or at least with posting about them! Valentine’s Day is not as big a holiday here as in other countries. You will not find little kids exchanging Valentine’s cards at school for example or colorful pink and red themed candy at the supermarket. There isn’t a specific food or desert associated with it as is the case with so many other holidays here either. Valentine’s definitely more of an understated, adult romantic, chocolate and jewelry affair here. It is also an occasion to send a little bit of love in the mail!
Who doesn’t like getting a love letter? And why not with a themed Valentine’s stamp to go with it? The USA has been issuing “Love” stamps since 1973 and last year’s floral heart block is a favorite of mine. While “love” themed stamps have been around for years, France was the first country to issue heart-shaped stamps in 1999. The first stamp was simply heart-shaped; when it turned out to be an instant success, La Poste started the tradition of having fashion designers create the annual heart stamp(s). Yves Saint Laurent, Christian LaCroix and, now, Adeline André have all designed stamps for the annual series. This year’s stamp, the “Patch d’Amour” is designed a bit like a tattoo. The stamp is a clear sticker and the background depends on the surface on which it is applied. Since the first French heart-shaped stamp, other countries have also issued their own versions. I have heart-shaped stamps from Japan and Slovenia as well.
If you would like a postcard with some “love,” send me a note or leave a comment with your email in it so that I can get your address. I have five lonely hearts here looking for some love!
EDIT: All stamps have been accounted for 🙂