On 27 July 2023, Åland Post will be highlighting the Viking Market on a stamp as part of the Sepac stamp series issued by small European postal operators on the theme of traditional markets. Åland photographer and stamp debutante Alice Åkerblom captured the spectacle and human interaction at one of Åland’s most popular summer markets.
Over the course of some 20 years, the Åland Viking Market has grown to be one of the biggest in Europe. The prehistoric Viking society Fibula started the market in 2000 in Kvarnbo, Saltvik, a location that has seen a wealth of finds from the Late Iron Age. On the site of the market, the society has constructed a permanent Viking village, which is home to artisans, minstrels, musicians, and Vikings during a three-day event every July. Visitors are treated to everything from handicraft stalls selling textiles, ironwork and leather goods, and Viking-style food and drink, to demonstrations of dancing, music, and combat.
When Åland photographer Alice Åkerblom was given the assignment, she could picture clearly how she wanted to present the theme:
“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. 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.”
- The first day cover shows people dressed according to the period, parading to mark the opening of the Viking Market, led by the chief, Tom Danielsson, chairman of the prehistoric Viking society Fibula.
- In the stamp, we see Wilma Wiklund and Elin Liewendahl.
- The stamp sheet and first day cancel show handmade jewellery sold at the market.
Facts about the issue
Name of issue: Sepac -traditional markets
Date of issue: 27 July 2023
Photographer: Alice Åkerblom
Design: Johanna Finne
Edition: 45 000
Denomination: Lokalpost (€2.40)
Price FDC: €3.40
Stamp size: 40 × 26 mm
Sheet size: 2 × 16 stamps
Paper: 110 g/m2
Perforation: 13 per 2 cm
Process: 4-colour offset
Printer: Cartor Security Printers
Order the stamp and first day cover in the webshop at alandstamps.com, by post to Åland Post Stamps, P.O. box 1100, AX-22111 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: +358 18 636 639.
Sepac is an abbreviation of Small European Postal Administrations' Cooperation. More information about SEPAC and the Sepac stamps at www.sepacstamps.eu.