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Christmas on Ascension Island

This Festive Season is celebrated once again on Ascension Island with the release of the Christmas stamp issue.

The four stamps and First Day Cover depict images of children and other activities that are such an important part of Ascension's Christmas traditions.

Despite the size of Ascension Island (which is 34 square miles) and its small population of approximately 900 people, Christmas is celebrated in a 'Big Way'. It ranges from Carol Singing at the Administrator's home in Green Mountain and around the Christmas Tree in the Town Square early in December to the Christmas designs and lights that adorn the street of the Island's capital; the grand parties of the Organisations which are held Island wide to the 'pop by and join in' family gatherings.

An enormous amount of effort is put in to the festivities to make it a splendid occasion each year. Everyone on the island participates in one way or the other.

Clubs around the Island host parties for their members and families with Father Christmas being their main guest and centre of attraction. He creates a perfect buzz for the children by arriving in style in his Pickup under escort kindly provided by the Police service. Carrying out his duties which involves entertaining the children in games, dancing and presenting them with their presents and Christmas stockings, he also makes it his business of dining with them, seeing to it that they eat every crumb of the delicious mince pies and sausage rolls provided and feeding his own face at the same time.

Each year on Christmas Eve a Christmas Float competition is held at the Saints Club in Georgetown. The floats drive around the town with adults and children aboard beautifully dressed in fairy, elf and other Christmas costumes dancing, singing and cheering merrily before coming to a halt inside the town square ready to be judged. Themes range from the Nativity to Santa's Sledge (not sure where he and his reindeers are, maybe they are having a drink at the club's bar as they have come a long way for the celebrations and by now are feeling very thirsty). Splendid prizes are awarded to the best dressed floats along with the flowing Champagne.

The island's school in Two Boats hosts a Nativity production each year in the last week before the school closes for the Christmas term whereby a Christingle service is combined. This is held during the early evening in the school hall and performed by the lower school children.

The Christingle itself refers to the symbolic object made up of the following 4 components:

  1. an orange - representing the world
  2. a red ribbon (or tape) - indicating the blood/ love of Christ
  3. a lighted candle - symbolising Jesus, the Light of the World
  4. four cocktail sticks bearing dried fruit or sweets - signifying the four seasons and the fruits of the earth and God's good gifts.

These beautiful stamps will be released on 17th November and will be used to accompany the cards and gifts that are sent around the world to our loved ones and friends at Christmastime.

Technical Details

Designer Julian Vasarhelyi

Printer BDT International

Process Stochastic lithography

Stamp Size 28.45 x 42.58mm

Sheet Format 20 (2 x 10)

Perforation 14 per 2cms

Release Date 17 November 2010

Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

We acknowledge with thanks the help and assistance of Colin Duncan

For further information, please contact John Smith,

Pobjoy Mint Ltd, Tel: (44) 1737 818181 Fax: (44) 1737 818199

email: jcs137 @rroba pobjoy.com

Via
JUAN FRANCO CRESPO
STAMP JOURNALIST (AIPET)
E-43800 VALLS-TARRAGONA (ESPAÑA-SPAIN-ESPAGNE-SPANIEN)

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