10 August 2023
Åland Post’s new contribution to the Sepac stamp series on the theme of traditional markets puts the spotlight on its Viking Market, which is one of the biggest in Europe
Åland Post’s new contribution to the Sepac stamp series on the theme of traditional markets puts the spotlight on its Viking Market, which is one of the biggest in Europe.
The spectacle of the summer market – one of Åland’s most popular – was captured by photographer Alice Åkerblom, who focussed on a more heartwarming image of human interaction rather than traditional depictions of fearsome warriors.
‘I thought it was great fun to get this request, and when we discussed the motif, I immediately pictured the women and children in front of me,’ said Alice. ‘I wanted to capture a gentler side that you might otherwise overlook, as the battles and chieftains generally take centre stage. You can’t really plan a picture like that. You just go in with an inkling of an idea and wait for the right moment to materialise. And then it’s a case of capturing that moment and the right feel.’
Åland’s Viking Market began more than 20 years ago, when the Viking society Fibula began it in Kvarnbo, Saltvik, which is home to many archaeological find dating from the Iron Age. Fibula has crated a permanent Viking village on the site, which for three days in July is transformed into a vibrant market with minstrels, artisans, musicians – and of course, Vikings – where visitors can buy crafts including ironwork and leather goods, sample Viking-style food and drink, and watch demonstrations of traditional combat skills.
The new stamp has a value of lokalpost €2.40 and is issued in an edition of 45,000.
Issue date: 27 July