Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ephemera for Lunch #29:
Rocket boy celebrates new year

Leaving the cats and goats behind, today's Soviet-era postcard is from 1961 and features a young boy riding a rocket into outer space without so much as a seat belt to protect him. But at least he has a scarf.1

The cursive text on the card reads С Новым годом!, which means "Happy New Year!" During the time of the Soviet Union, Christmas celebrations were abolished. So the end-of-year holiday that took its place in importance was New Year's Day. Elements of the country's culture and folk traditions were woven into that holiday and appeared as themes on the cards that were mailed and exchanged in the mid 20th century.

Rocket-ship themes, as seen on this postcard, were very popular for С Новым годом during the height of the Soviet space program in the 1950s through 1970s.3

Shown above is the back of today's postcard. I'm not going to make an attempt at translating all of that cursive Russian. If you can read Russian and/or want to give it a whirl, leave the translation down in the comments section.

Meanwhile, here's a closeup of the pre-printed postage on the back of the card, which also has a rocket theme.

1. Maybe he's a Time Lord and thus doesn't need the kind of protection that a human being would require.
2. Papergreat previously featured a С Новым годом postcard in December 2012.
3. For more on Russian New Year traditions throughout history check out this article on Also featured there is another nifty rocket-themed Soviet postcard.

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