The ‘Day of the Stamp’ is typically a day of the year set aside by postal stamp-issuing authorities to publicise, and in some cases subsidise, philatelic events and exhibitions. The issues were popular in many European countries during the mid 20th Century including Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Netherlands, Italy and Hungary.
The Day of the Stamp is not to be confused with World Post Day that is celebrated each year on 9 October to commemorate the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in Bern, Switzerland. ‘Day of the Stamp’ issues were first released in Germany inscribed with ‘TAG DER BRIEFMARKE’ between 1942 (featured image) and 1944 and others were subsequently issued at intervals by both East and West Germany. Stamps featuring a similar inscription were issued annually in Austria from December 1949. France issued a stamp bearing the caption ‘Journée du Timbre’ annually from 1948. This first issue featured the portrait of Etienne Arago who is credited with having introduced adhesive stamps to France in 1848.
In Spain and associated Colonies, stamps were inscribed ‘DIA DEL SELLO’ although many stamps were issued to raise funds for philatelic purposes with no inscription or obvious indication of purpose at all. Netherlands stamps issued for this purpose included the inscription ‘DAG VAN DEN POSTZEGEL’ and those for Italy, ‘GIORNATA DEI FRANCOBOLLI’. Hungarian Stamp Day issues bore the inscription ‘BELYEG-NAP’ and were typically issued in September each year.
With interest in philately dwindling, the practice has been become less common. However, ironically, the issues represent an interesting thematic domain for the stamp collector.
To view postal issues, please visit the M&S Philately HipStamp store.