Oct 31, 2015

Nongak | South Korea


These three postcards are from my private collection. Unfortunately they are not posted, but I really like the pictures which give me a glimpse to some of Korea's traditions.The first postcard is showing five beautiful traditional dancers in front of the 10 storey pagoda in Gyeongbokgung Palace. Gyeongbokgung (Hangul: 경복궁; hanja: 景福宫), also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. Built in 1395, it is located in northern Seoul, South Korea. The largest of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon dynasty, Gyeongbokgung served as the home of Kings of the Joseon dynasty, the Kings' households, as well as the government of Joseon.

Xi'an China International Horticultural Exposition 2011 | China


This postcard was sent from Jingchen from China via Postcrossing [CN-1777415].


It was postmarked on 20 October 2015. The first stamp is from Xi'an China International Horticultural Exposition 2011.

Oct 30, 2015

Nagasaki Kunchi | Japan

This is one of my favorite postcards I have ever received! It was sent by Saho from Nagasaki, Japan, via Postcrossing [JP-740124]. As she writes: 'Greetings from Nagasaki. This photo is "Nagasaki Kunchi". It;s one of the three biggest festivals in Japan and now has a history of 380 years. Nagasaki is such a beautiful city, surrounded by the sea and mountains."

Kunchi (くんち), also Nagasaki Kunchi (長崎くんち) or Nagasaki Okunchi (長崎おくんち), is the most famous festival in Nagasaki. It began as a celebration of autumn harvests in the late 16th century and became a shrine festival when Suwa Shrine was founded in 1642. Another purpose was to check for hidden Christians after the ban on Christianity. This is still evident today in the custom of garden showing (庭見せ niwamise), when the presenting neighbourhoods open up their homes to public scrutiny. One of the most famous performances of the festival is the "Dragon Dance" which was originally performed on New Year's Eve by the Chinese residents of Nagasaki. Rehearsals for the festival begin on June 1. From October 7-9 the presentations of the festival, which vividly reflect Nagasaki's colourful history, spill over from the three festival sites into the streets and create an atmosphere of celebration throughout the city. [wikipedia]


It was postmarked in 22 October 2015 with a stamp commemorating the International Letter Writing Week.

Oct 24, 2015

Lavatanssit


This postcard was sent by Heli from Finland via postcrossing [FI-2530375]. She works at the local phone company and her hobby is Lavatanssit, which can be roughly translated as Barn Dance. A barn dance is any kind of dance involving traditional or folk music with traditional dancing, occasionally held in a barn, but, these days, much more likely to be in any suitable building.

The term “barn dance” is usually associated with family-oriented or community-oriented events, usually for people who do not normally dance. The caller will, therefore, generally use easy dances so that everyone can join in.

A barn dance can be a Ceilidh, with traditional Irish or Scottish dancing, and people unfamiliar with either format often confuse the two terms. However, a barn dance can also feature square dancing, Contra dancing, English Country Dance, dancing to Country and Western music, or any other kind of dancing, often with a live band and a Caller.

Barn dances, as social dances, were popular in Ireland until the 1950s, and were typically danced to tunes with 4/4 rhythms. [wikipedia]

Oct 22, 2015

The Iron and Golden King | Czech Republic


This postcard was sent by Eva and Martin from Prague via Postcrossing [CZ 723885].



It is postmarked in 19 October 2015 from Praha, Czech Republic. I really like these stamps. The first one depicts the sign of Aquarius. The second one depicts Ottokar II (Czech: Přemysl Otakar II; c. 1233 – 26 August 1278), the Iron and Golden King, who was a member of the Přemyslid dynasty who reigned as King of Bohemia from 1253 until 1278. He also held the titles of Duke of Austria from 1251, Duke of Styria from 1260, as well as Duke of Carinthia and Margrave of Carniola from 1269.

With Ottokar's rule, the Přemyslids reached the peak of their power in the Holy Roman Empire. His expectations of imperial crown, however, were never fulfilled. [wikipedia]

Oct 18, 2015

Coronation Stone | England


This is a vintage postcard of my beloved Kingston upon Thames. It depicts the Coronation Stone. The Coronation Stone is an ancient sarsen stone block which is believed to have been the site of the coronation of seven Anglo-Saxon kings. It is now located next to the Guildhall in Kingston upon Thames, England. Kingston is now a town in the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames in Greater London, but remains the seat of the administration of the county of Surrey.

In Old English, tun, ton or don meant farmstead or settlement, so the name Kingston appears to mean farmstead of the kings. A local legend that these Saxon coronations gave Kingston its name is contradicted by the records of the 838 council.

Æthelstan was consecrated king at Kingston in 925, Eadred in 946 and Æthelred the Unready in 979. There is also some evidence that Edward the Elder, Edmund I, Eadwig and Edward the Martyr were consecrated in the town. According to John Stow, writing in the late sixteenth century, Æthelstan was crowned on a stage in the market place, but it was later believed that the kings were crowned in the ancient church of St Mary, which collapsed in 1730. A large stone block was recovered soon afterwards from the ruins of the chapel, and it has since been regarded as the 'Coronation Stone'. It was at first used as a mounting block, but in 1850 it was placed in the market place on a plinth which had the names of the seven kings believed to have been crowned on it inscribed around the side. [wikipedia]

I am trying to recognize where the Coronation Stone is situated in this postcard. It is definitely not where it is nowadays. Can anyone local figure it out? 


In the back there it is postmarked in 19 May 1905 from london, United Kingdom, and the handwriting reads: 'Lou finds she cannot get over. Would you care to go to Kew Gardens with us by Sunday. If so could you meet Lou about 4 or soon after at top of Sloane St. "Gardners" Corner. Shall be glad if you can go if you are over Kew was tomorrow. Call in M.P.'

Oct 14, 2015

Kingston’s historic Market Place | England


This is a beautiful postcard showing my beloved Kingston upon Thames. Kingston’s historic Market Place has been in use since around 1170 when Henry II was on the throne. Over the past 800 years Market Place has been used for much more than just selling produce and has been a place for both celebration and punishment - the busy Market Place was the ideal location for Kingston’s criminals to get their comeuppance in the stocks.

Kingston’s Market Place is the focal point for outdoor entertainment and activities in Kingston today and, just like in ancient times, it’s not just a place to sell produce. Market Place is a venue for music concerts, carnivals, car displays, promotional events, fun days, face-painting, ten pin bowling, cookery demonstrations, health checks, parades, stilt-walkers, birds of prey displays, and many more special events throughout the year.

Kingston’s Market Place regularly hosts visiting markets, including the festive Christmas Market, regular Continental Markets featuring delicious foods from the continent, and for arts and craft lovers the popular Thames Markets.

A visit to the Market Place offers much more than a shopping trip, you can grab some delicious local food, hot and cold drinks and be entertained by street performers or just relax and watch the world go by. [www.kingstonfirst.co.uk]


On the back side, I cannot really make out the handwriting but I can clearly see the date 1906.

Oct 11, 2015

HMS Victory


This postcard shows HMS Victory Ship in Portsmouth. 

On 7th May 1765 HMS Victory was floated out of the Old Single Dock in Chatham's Royal Dockyard. In the years to come, over an unusually long service, she would gain renown leading fleets in the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic War. In 1805 she achieved lasting fame as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Nelson in Britain's greatest naval victory, the defeat of the French and Spanish at the Battle of Trafalgar. For Victory, however, active service did not end with the loss of Nelson. In 1808 she was recommissioned to lead the fleet in the Baltic, but four years later she was no longer needed in this role, and she was relegated to harbour service - serving as a residence, flagship and tender providing accommodation. In 1922 she was saved for the nation and placed permanently into dry dock where she remains today, visited by 25 million visitors as a museum of the sailing navy and the oldest commissioned warship in the world. [http://www.hms-victory.com]


Unfortunately the date stamp is not very clear so I cannot make out the date. The stamp ussed was issued on  9th Aug. 1965 for the Salvation Army Centenary. The card reads: 'Dear Girls, now on board with dad. Much bigger than I thought. Love, Stephen'

Oct 10, 2015

City of Lights | Pakistan


Defence Society Mosque postcard  

I have these three beautiful postcards from Karachi, Pakistan. Karachi (Sindhi: ڪراچي‎, Urdu: کراچی‎ ) is the capital of the province of Sindh, as well as the largest and most populous metropolitan city of Pakistan. It is the 2nd-largest city in the world by population. It is also the main seaport and financial centre of the country. Karachi is also known as City of Lights mainly due to city's night life, for which it is famous as the city which never sleeps. Karachi metro has an estimated population of over 23.5 million people as of 2013, and area of approximately 3,527 km2 (1,362 sq mi), resulting in a density of more than 6,000 people per square kilometre (15,500 per square mile).

Mereweather Clock Tower postcard

It was the capital of Pakistan until Islamabad was constructed as a capital to spread development evenly across the country and to prevent it from being concentrated in Karachi. Karachi is the location of the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, two of the region's largest and busiest ports. After the independence of Pakistan, the city population increased dramatically when hundreds of thousands of Muslim Muhajirs from India and from other parts of South Asia came to settle in Karachi.


Quaid-e-Azam Mausoleum postcard

The city is located on the Arabian Sea coastline. It is also known as the Uroos ul Bilaad "The Bride of the Cities" and the "City of the Quaid", having been the birth and burial place of Quaid-e-Azam, the Great Leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, who made the city his home after Pakistan's independence from the British Raj on 14 August 1947. 

The Giza Pyramids | Egypt


This postcard is from the Giza Pyramids in Egypt. Giza is located west and south of modern Cairo, in the vast desert imagined by the ancient Egyptians to be the land of the dead. Guarded by the Great Sphinx, the plateau is dominated by the massive pyramids of Khufu (Gr. Cheops), Khafre (Gr. Chephren), and Menkaure (Gr. Mycerinus), all of whom ruled Egypt during the 4th Dynasty (c. 2500 BC). The royal pyramid complexes, which include temples, causeways, and satellite pyramids, are surrounded by tombs of the elite-members of the royal family, the nobility, and the priesthood. At the foot of the plateau, south of the Great Sphinx, lie the Cemetery and Town of the Pyramid Builders, where the men and women who constructed the royal and elite tombs on the main plateau lived, worked, and were buried.

The Giza Pyramids postcard

Probably the most famous site in Egypt, Giza has fascinated the world for millennia. Although the archaeological and historical evidence proves without a doubt that the Great Pyramid of Khufu and its companions are royal tombs built during the Old Kingdom, alternative theorists continue to argue that they were built by aliens or people from the mythical land of Atlantis. The pyramids are indeed remarkable feats of engineering: the Great Pyramid is aligned to the cardinal directions to within 1 degree of arc. However, this was within the engineering capabilities of Egypt's early kings, and there is no need to create outlandish theories to explain its construction.

Nottingham | England


Another old postcard, this time from Nottingham, England. Nottingham is a city in Nottinghamshire, England, 30 miles (48 km) south of Sheffield and 30 miles (48 km) north of Leicester.

Nottingham has links to the legend of Robin Hood and to the lace-making, bicycle (notably Raleigh bikes) and tobacco industries. It was granted its city charter in 1897 as part of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Nottingham is a tourist destination; in 2011, visitors spent over £1.5 billion - the sixth highest amount in England.

In 2013, Nottingham had an estimated population of 310,837 with the wider urban area, which includes many of the city's suburbs, having a population of 729,977. Its urban area is the largest in the East Midlands and the second largest in the Midlands. 

Nottingham has an award-winning public transport system, including the largest publicly owned bus network in England and is also served by Nottingham railway station and the modern Nottingham Express Transit tram system. [wikipedia]


In the back, there is a stamp with the date 16 August 1937. 

Mount Hiei | Japan


This is a postcard of Mount Hiei in Japan. Judging by the colors and type of printing I would say it was probably made between February 15, 1933 and August 15, 1945. Judging by the back of the card it was probably printed towards the end of the war [more information: how to Ascertain the Date (or Time Period) of Prewar Japanese Picture Postcards ]

Mount Hiei (比叡山 Hiei-zan) is a mountain to the northeast of Kyoto, lying on the border between the Kyoto and Shiga prefectures, Japan.

The temple of Enryaku-ji, the first outpost of the Japanese Tendai (Chin. Tiantai) sect of Buddhism, was founded atop Mount Hiei by Saichō in 788. Hōnen, Nichiren, and Shinran all studied at the temple before leaving to start their own practices. The temple complex was razed by Oda Nobunaga in 1571 to quell the rising power of the Tendai's warrior monks (sōhei), but it was rebuilt and remains the Tendai headquarters to this day.

The Imperial Japanese Navy 19th Century corvette Hiei was named after this mountain, as was the more famous World War II-era battleship Hiei, the latter having initially been built as a battlecruiser. [wikipedia]

The Rebel City | Ireland


This is a postcard of the Holy Trinity Church and the Parliament Bridge in Cork City, Ireland. Cork (Irish: Corcaigh, from corcach, meaning "marsh") is a city in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region and in the province of Munster. With a population of 119,230, it is the second largest city in the state and the third most populous on the island of Ireland. The greater Metropolitan Cork area (which includes a number of satellite towns and suburbs) has a population exceeding 300,000. In 2005, the city was selected as the European Capital of Culture.

The city is built on the River Lee which divides into two channels at the western end of the city. The city centre is located on the island created by the channels. At the eastern end of the city centre where the channels re-converge, quays and docks along the river banks lead to Lough Mahon and Cork Harbour, which is one of the world's largest natural harbours.

The city's cognomen of "the rebel city" originates in its support for the Yorkist cause during the English War of the Roses. Corkonians often refer to the city as "the real capital" in reference to the city's role as the centre of anti-treaty forces during the Irish Civil War.


In the back it has two Irish stamps, a stamp with date, time and place [8pm 12 AUG 1952] and a third stamp that says: 'Support TB "Shilling-a-quarter fund"'.

Planet Island | Greece


This is one of the postcards my parents sent me. It shows Planitis island near Tinos, Greece. Planitis  [Greek : Πλανήτης, which means planet] is an almost rocky Greek island with a dilapidated lighthouse on its summit. It is joined with Kavalurko beach by small rocks, which form small narrows, called Diapori connecting the bay with the open sea (Aegean Sea). On Planitis there used to be a marble mine, but nowadays one can meet only wild rabbits instead of miners.

The lighthouse first functioned in the year 1886. It marks the harbor of Panormos, the only harbor in the north –for this is also important for fishermen.The altitude of tower is 8 metres and the height of focal plane is 85 metres. 

Tinos Island | Greece

A few weeks ago my parents went to the beautiful island of Tinos in Greece and they sent me these postcards. They were mesmerized by the picturesque villages and the amazing beaches.

Tinos (Greek: Τήνος) is a Greek island situated in the Aegean Sea. It is located in the Cyclades archipelago. In antiquity, Tinos was also known as Ophiussa (from ophis, Greek for snake) and Hydroessa (from hydor, Greek for water). The closest islands are Andros, Delos, and Mykonos. It has a land area of approximately 194 square kilometres (75 sq mi) and a 2011 census population of 8,636 inhabitants.

Tinos is famous amongst Greeks for the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, its 80 or so windmills, about 1000 artistic dovecotes, 50 active villages and its Venetian fortifications at the mountain, Exomvourgo. On Tinos, both Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic populations co-exist, and the island is also well known for its famous sculptors and painters, such as Nikolaos Gysis, Yannoulis Chalepas and Nikiforos Lytras.

The island is located near the geographical center of the Cyclades island complex, and because of the Panagia Evangelistria church, with its reputedly miraculous icon of Virgin Mary that it holds, Tinos is also the center of a yearly pilgrimage that takes place on the date of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (15 August, "Dekapentavgoustos" in Greek). This is perhaps the most notable and still active yearly pilgrimage in the region of the eastern Mediterranean. Many pilgrims make their way the 800 metres from the ferry wharf to the church on their hands and knees as sign of devotion. [wikipedia]

 

Oct 9, 2015

A roadtrip 52 years ago | Norway


This postcard was sent by the same person as the next one, while on her road trip to Scandinavia. It shows the Adamsfoss waterfalls in Finnmark, Finland.


It reads: "27 - 8 - 63 Tana, Finnmark, N'way
The time has gone quickly when with travelling, camping and .... . We passed these falls some time ago but they are not far back along the road as we have stayed in Tana near a week. Weturn South the day after tomorrow travelling through Finland and Sweden and go back to Oslo to leave in Sept 9th [...] Much love, Lisbeth"

Oct 2, 2015

Samburu Warriors | Kenya


This is my first postcard from Kenya! It was sent by Kiyoung via postcrossing [KE-2528]. It shows some Samburu warriors. As my fellow postcrosser informed me 'Samburu is one of the 42 tribes in Kenya'.

The Samburu tribe are a Nilotic tribe that inhabits Kenya's northern plains. They are a Maa-speaking group, and are very similar to the Maasai tribe. Like the Maasai, the Samburu are nomadic pastoralists, moving from one place to another following patterns of rainfall in search of fresh pasture and water for their cattle, camels, goats and sheep.

The Samburus are considered even more traditional and remote than their Maasai kin, and have maintained the authenticity of their culture by sticking to their ancient traditions and defying modern trends.

Other neighbors of the Samburu tribe include the pastoral Turkana, Rendille and Borana tribes. Samburu history is intertwined with that of Kenya's other Nilotic tribes. Samburus are known to have originated from Sudan, settling north of Mount Kenya and south of Lake Turkana in Kenya's Rift Valley area. Upon their arrival in Kenya in the 15th century, the Samburu parted ways with their Maasai cousins, who moved further south while the Samburu moved north. The Samburu were not very affected by British colonial rule since the British did not find their land particularly attractive.

Traditionally, the Samburu believed in one supreme god - Nkai or Ngai - who was thought to reside in the mountains. Diviners often acted as intermediaries between other mortals and Nkai. Today, while many Samburu people still adhere to their traditional religion, some have adopted the Christian or Islamic faith. [Read more here]

She has also put these beautiful Kenyan stamps but also one Korean [as she originates from Korea].