Slovenia post issued a set of stamps Advent wreath and Predicting the future from molten lead as a part of Christmas celebration.
The Advent wreath is a characteristic of the ‘globalised’ Christmas in Slovenia or, in other words, an ‘invented tradition’ from the 1980s. Although modern Advent wreaths can be made of many different materials, the basic design involves evergreen vegetation and four candles representing the four Sundays of Advent, which are lit one by one as Advent progresses.
The Advent wreath is an ‘invention’ of the Germanic world. At the start of the 20th century the only part of the Slovene cultural area in which it was known was the Val Canale (Kanalska Dolina) in Italy.
Predicting the future from molten lead
Up until the years following the Second World War, Christmas and New Year were strongly connected with family gatherings and celebrations. This was an opportunity for those gathered around the festive table to try and predict their future in areas such as economic endeavour, interpersonal relations (e.g. love, marriage), health (of people and livestock), the harvest, and so on.
Various forms of fortune-telling or predicting the future developed. In today’s society these have been replaced by horoscopes of various kinds. People told fortunes in a variety of ways, using different media. One method involved pouring molten lead into cold water, where it would form a multitude of different shapes.
Through careful observation of these shapes, people formed images or ideas of potential dangers and advantages that the coming year was supposed to bring. Melted wax was sometimes used instead of lead.
Title: Christmas 2010 – Slovenia
Date of Issue: 26 November 2010
Denominations: C, A