July 24, 2015

1772 GUERNSEY - Lé Viaer Marchi

Lé Viaer Marchi (The Old Market) is an annual festival held in Guernsey of more than 30 years on the first Monday of July. Organised by the National Trust of Guernsey (an association which aims to preserve and enhance the heritage of the Bailiwick of Guernsey), it showcases local craftsmanship's history and displays the way in which men and women used to live in this islands. Around the stallholders’ hub radiate many activities including demonstrations of traditional skills such as butter making, weaving of crabpots, lace and rope making, with stall holders in traditional Guernsey costume to add to the authentic atmosphere.

The most distinctive local garment is the guernsey (named also gansey or jumper), a knitted woollen sweater, similar to a jersey, which originated in the Channel Island of the same name. It came into being as a garment for fishermen who required a warm, hard wearing, yet comfortable item of clothing that would resist the sea spray. The hard twist given to the tightly packed wool fibres in the spinning process and the tightly knitted stitches, produced a finish that would "turn water" and is capable of repelling rain and spray. Many families had their own variation of the patterns that became a means of recognition when unfortunate sailors were lost at sea, and their bodies were washed up somewhere.

Entertainment on Lé Viaer Marchi includes carriage rides, traditional dancing, patois songs, street entertainers, and sometimes Punch and Judy shows (a traditional and usually very violent puppet show featuring Mr. Punch and his wife, Judy). Delicacies are served, with Guernsey Bean Jar being one of the most popular. Guernsey Gâche (a type of fruit bread) and cider are also on offer. There are also a selection of activities for children to make the evening accessible to all islanders. There are stalls set up for various bric-a-brac.

About the stamp

The stamp was issued in 2014 and is dedicated to postcrossing. It depicts an outline of Guernsey with a smiley face, giving the "thumbs up" to the hobby of Postcrossing.

Viaer Marchi - Wikipedia
Guernsey (clothing) - Wikipedia
The History of the Guernsey Jumper - guernseywoollens.com

Sender: Kathy Allen-James
Sent from Saint Peter Port (Guernsey Island / Guernsey), on 26.08.2014

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