|Greek folk culture, whose roots stretch deep back into the past, has produced a remarkable number of folk traditions and a seemingly endless wealth of folklore.
Local folk traditions have also changed the names given to the 12 months of the year. Different, interesting names have been assigned to the months based around agricultural activities, local customs, saints’ feast days and religious ceremonies, as well as changes in nature occurring during each month, and other events that occur during the year.
January is known as ‘Protaris’, literally a 'first timer’ or ‘new-comer’ since it is the first month of the year. Another name is 'Kalandaris’ from the Greek word ‘kalanda’ for carols, because of the New Years' carols that are sung. February is known as ‘Kladeftis’ (the pruner) while March is widely known as ‘Paloukokaftis’ (literally the fencepost burner) because it is often so unexpectedly cold that villagers were forced to burn even the fenceposts from their fields to keep themselves warm.
April is a month full of colours and scents, and is sometimes alternatively known as Triandafyllas (the rose month) because it is when roses come into bloom. In much the same way, every month has been given a series of names in Greek folk culture based on its special ‘features’. To commemorate this, these 12 unique stamps, released as an ordinary series of stamps, depict the folk traditions in Greece associated with the months.
Source: Philatelic Service, Hellenic Post.