In 2011, Finnish stamps will be used to celebrate a number of special occasions. The stamps were designed both by young first-time designers as well as by experienced and recognized artists.
The program year begins on January 24 with the celebration of the 100-year-old Finnish National Opera. The miniature sheet resembles a festive stage set where the light puts scenes from beloved operas center stage. The miniature sheet designed by Tarja Salonen depicts scenes from the operas Eugene Onegin, The Red Line and The Last Temptations.
Also on January 24, two stamps in the shape of a plus sign, each with a different value will be issued; these can be used to increase the value of previously purchased stamps if necessary. The themes of the stamps illustrated by Teemu Ollikainen and Timo Berry are a birch bud (ˆ0.20) and a birch leaf (ˆ0.30).
A miniature sheet entitled "Branches of Friendship" will be released to celebrate Valentine's Day - known as Friend's Day in Finland. The stamps, illustrated by Janne Harju, show an adorable flock of friends in their colorful nests.