March 20, 2016

2392 CHINA (Inner Mongolia) - A Wedding Ceremony

The Mongolian wedding ceremony has changed over time, but still the Mongolian people are trying to keep the traditional rituals. When a couple agrees to marry one another, they explain their engagements to the groom’s parents. Then the groom’s father gives a hadag (a specially made band of silk) and a silver bowl-like cup filled with milk to the bride’s father, this meaning that he welcomes his daughter-in-law and they will treat her like their own daughter. When the bride’s family accepts the engagement, it means they accept the groom as their own son.

Each Mongolian aimag (state) has customs that are a little different, but all weddings must take place on an auspicious day, as advised by a local lama after he consults a traditional lunar calendar. The bride and groom choose their wedding witnesses, and a sister-in-law. At the ceremony, which occurs in a Wedding Palace, they wear long sleeved clothing that cover their shoulders (deer), representing a good and complete life for the couple. They place the rings (which are different, with different significations) on after the wedding official pronounces them husband and wife.

The gifts received are very important for the newly weds and their start of a new life. The husband’s family gives a ger (yurt) and some animals (allways an odd number). The wife’s family gives a full kitchen set, clothes and jewelry, but also a pot of glue, symbolizing the strength of the future relationship. Friends and relatives usually give money or other gifts. In modern times the parent’s gifts are different but most herders still give a ger and animals.

The arrangement of the wedding reception is like a yurt in a side style way, the door always faces south. The groom stands north west, next to him is a sister-in-law, his father and mother, the relatives and friends; the wife stands to the husband’s left, also with a sister-in-law, her father and mother, the relatives and friends. The eldest of the group tend to sit in the front, as a sign of respect. For the rest of the day, the two families and the guests sing, eat and drink, sitting around a large ceremonial table.

About the stamps

Two of the stamps are part of the series Orient Express, issued on May 22, 1992:
1 - It's on the postcard 2392
2 - It's on the postcard 2392
3 - It's on the postcard 2707

The last stamp, depicting Charles Darwin, is part of the series World's Most Famous Scientists, issued on March 25, 2014:
• Charles Darwin (1809-1882) (100 MNT) - It's on the postcard 2392
• Albert Einstein (1879-1955) (100 MNT) - It's on the postcard 2564
• Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) (300 MNT)
• Isaac Newton (1642-1727) (300 MNT) - It's on the postcard 2564
• Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) (500 MNT) - It's on the postcard 2604
• Niels Bohr (1885-1962) (500 MNT) - It's on the postcard 2604


The stamp is part of the series Chinese Ceramics - Dehua Porcelain, designed by Gu Yubao and issued on October 20 2012.
1 - It's on the postcard 2392
2 - It's on the postcard 2707

United States
The first stamp, depicting Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly, is the fifth stamp for use on greeting card envelopes, about which I wrote here. The stamp art was created on a computer, using images of preserved butterflies as a starting point. The words "non-machineable surcharge" on the stamp indicate its usage value. Like a Forever stamp, this stamp will always be valid for the rate printed on it. The initial price and value for this stamp is 71 cents. The artist Tom Engeman created the stamp art, and art director Derry Noyes designed it.

The Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) is named for the black "tiger" stripes along the upper surfaces of its wings. Like others in the swallowtail family, Papilionidae, these butterflies have long tails on the tips of their hind wings. Males and some females are yellow with black stripes, with females having much more blue on the upper surface of the hind wings than the males. There is also a dark female morph or form. In the dark morph, the areas of the wing that are normally yellow are dark gray or black. This 2015 stamp illustrates a yellow morph female. 

The second stamp, depicting C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson, is the 15th in the Distinguished Americans series, and was issued on March 13, 2014. Pioneering African-American aviator C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson (1907-1996) played a crucial role during WWII in training the nation's first black military pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen. The stamp is based on a photograph of Anderson in the 1942 yearbook of the Tuskegee Institute’s flight training school in Tuskegee, Alabama. The artist added headgear used by pilots in World War II. Illustrator Sterling Hundley created an original painting for the stamp, which was designed by art director Phil Jordan.

About the last stamp, which pays tribute to the majestic emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), I wrote here. 

Mongolian Wedding Ceremony - Mongolmom

Sent China (on 21.03.2014), to Greenvale (New York / United States), on 26.01.2016, then to Romania (Ploieşti). 

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