Croatia post issued a postage stamp featuring dance of falling snowflakes to celebrate Christmas. The image of a snowflake as a little star is in fact the matter of faith. Only a small number of children have seen under microscope that tiny, white cluster that is caught on the tongue and that quickly melts on palm. The crystal soul of a snowflake is visible in hoar frost, and the firmness of its structure is surmised in ice. And the transformations of cotton into crystal have been made if not in all languages then in all media: from the signs on refrigerator door, on wrappings of ice cream, illustrations of Andersen’s tales… and thus has the invisible become clear as if it were visible.
A snowflake is hence a small star and total glittering of snow guarantees to each snowflake its own separate glow. And when we talk about ice and Andersen, we have to remember the wonderful story about Gerda, Kai and the Snow Queen, the tale in which the realm of coldness – together with snowflakes – is the realm of frozen loves that must be melted. That kind of melting was also what this year’s winner of the competition for the most beautiful visual art presentation of the theme of snowflakes’ dance, Barbara Tomorad, from the Elementary School Marija Bistrica in Marija Bistrica had in mind.
Her colours are not the whiteness and blueness, her suggestion is neither stillness nor tranquillity. She has warmed up her background in brown and rosy tones; she has marked the orbits of dance by bright yellow and greenish spirals. The small stars are coloured, blue, red and all colours they can be, as if seen under coloured reflector rays on stage. Some stars are even two-coloured, as if transiting from one light beam to another.
The dance has chased off any thought of coldness and has reanimated what might have been frozen. The snowflakes are thus clothed in the robe of a special holiday and are not the same as in most winter days – but loudly and merrily cheer the New Year. Andersen is surely not the only literary authority for snowflakes and little stars.
Title: Christmas 2011 – Croatia
Date of Issue: 24 November 2011
Denominations: 3,1 kn