Thematics: the longest day


01 July 2021
In this week's thematics column, Katrin Raynor-Evans celebrates the British summer and take a trip to Stonehenge as we enjoy the longest days of the year.

If you are reading this in the UK, then you will know how important the seasons and weather are to us Brits.

Our everyday activities are governed by the weather, so it is no surprise that when summer comes along, we all breathe a sigh of relief as the days get longer.

Every year between 20 and 22 June, we enjoy the summer solstice, or midsummer as it is more commonly known, which is the longest day of the year.

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Often thousands of people will descend upon Stonehenge to share in this special time of year where there is an almost festival vibe. Stonehenge is a large monument and stone circle in Wiltshire, England and is designated as a World Heritage Site.

The monument has appeared a few times on stamps and one of my favourite stamps was issued in 1990 depicting the monument.

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Stonehenge stamp from Royal Mail

Issued by the Royal Mail within a set of four, Stonehenge features at the centre of the stamp and, if you look closely, you will notice that arcing above it are the phases of the Moon. To the left and right of the 37pence stamp is a gyroscope and a ship navigating by the stars, namely the Pole Star – an important star that has been used for navigation purposes for centuries.  

A photograph of the monument also featured on multiple stamps in 2018 which were issued for international postage purposes in a variety of cities including New York, Geneva and Vienna.

A unique view

Japan chose to feature the monument in 2015 and shows an aerial view of the stones giving all Stonehenge enthusiasts an interesting view of the stones and the stone circle which other stamps previously have not.

Even Disney characters have got in the on the act when Bhutan issued a set of ten stamps in 1991 with Mickey Mouse and his globetrotting friends enjoying a selection of World Heritage Sites all over the world!

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