Bitter Grounds Magazine

stamps, espresso & conversation

Treasure trove of culture in Azerbaijan stamps

Written by catpaw

July 18, 2021

Azerbaijan stamps have been eye opening. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the rich, complex history and art of Azerbaijan. It’s another case of “Holy shit I missed a lot”.  Growing up, I had no access to stamps beyond Canada, except for the odd US or British stamp. And that set a pattern for my collecting for decades to come. It’s hard to shake off old habits, luckily this project of exploring 2021 stamps introduced me to a wide array of countries that were never on my radar. 

A little context before Azerbaijan stamps are started

Stamps are more than little bit of paper to stick on envelopes.  When you look at their stamps, you are offered a small window onto that country’s culture & heritage. I try to be respectful when I deal with different countries and see this as a chance to learn and appreciate them. 

I’m a bit embarrassed to say I never looked at Azerbaijan before.  It’s a country rich in archeological and historical significance. But what has captured me the most is the folk history & stories I’ve slowly uncovered, thanks to Azerbaijan stamps. The Toronto Public Library has a number of books on Azerbaijan history and culture. Unfortunately, most are reference only, so I’m waiting for the Reference Library to reopen.

Down the research rabbit hole

I think that’s what I love about philately. Being introduced to new countries and histories I was previously unaware of. I started this article nearly 2 months ago, but I kept chasing new bits of information about the country and well, one thing led to another and …. Let’s just say, I now realise how little I know and how much I want to learn more about the country. 

To my North American bred eye, Azerbaijan artwork and design has been unusual and challenging. Previous years have offered up a bonanza of cultural information. 

Since ancient times, Azerbaijan has played an important role as a melting pot of civilizations, serving as a venue and major transfer point of different cultural traditions and customs. The intangible heritage of Azerbaijan, diverse and rich, continues to be transmitted from generation to generation. From a cultural and historic point of view, Azerbaijan has close ties with the history of the Silk Roads and was strongly affected by its development. One point of reference for this strong link between the Silk Roads and Azerbaijan is the poem “Seven Beauties” by the great poet Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1209, Ganja, Azerbaijan), in which he allegorically describes the countries lying along these great Roads. Azerbaijan | Silk Roads Programme (unesco.org) 

By the way, I’m hoping Azerbaijan issues a stamp for the UNESCO 2021 Intangible Cultural Heritage series. I can’t even imagine where Azerbaijan post would start. As the rest of the year progresses and my bibliography of resources improve, I’ll try to include references for you to use. This page started as a straightforward listing of stamps from a country I had little knowledge of and has turned into a full blown love affair that now extends to the entire Caucasus. 

Azerbaijan stamps 2021 for March

Norvruz Holiday  

Novruz in Azerbaijan Azerbaijan stamps 

NOVRUZ HOLIDAY 2021 FDC

1 stamp on a mini sheet, FDC, cancel

Artist: Orkhan Garayev
You can see more of Garayev’s work on his Facebook page: (11) Orkhan Garayev Artist | Facebook 
He also designed the 2020 Norvruz stamp, which is one of the most delightful stamps I’ve seen. Each stamp covered a separate aspect of Novruz and human behaviour:  Kosa Fire, Kechal Eavesdropping, Azerbaijan national dance, Cockfight, Holiday eggs, Novruz traditional sweets, and Hat throwing. Click on the stamp to see a larger version. 

Novruz 2020 mini sheet

 

Novruz 2020 mini sheet

Learn more about this important holiday Azerbaijani Novruz – Culture – Visions of Azerbaijan Magazine. It’s a celebration of the New Year and the coming of spring.  

The centuries of Novruz celebrations in Azerbaijan have left an indelible mark on the poetic heritage. There are many poems devoted to Novruz written by classical authors and modern poets. People have always sung songs about Novruz, both folk songs and professional pieces. The great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi wrote in his Khamsa or Five Tales that Novruz was celebrated in 350 BC, that is, 24 centuries ago.

As the most striking expression of the Azerbaijani national spirit, official celebrations of Novruz were banned during the Soviet years. But, in spite of the prohibition, every Azerbaijani family considered it a moral obligation to celebrate the holiday with all its customs. Azerbaijani Novruz (see link above)

Release date: March 19, 2021


 

April Azerbaijan stamps

Year of the Ox – Lunar New Year

 AZERBAIJAN year of ox stamp Azerbaijan stamps

AZERBAIJAN year of ox stamp

1 stamp on mini sheet, FDC, cancel

Designer: Vuqar Eyyubov
Eyyobov designed last year’s Year of the Rat set. I have discovered you have to look carefully to catch all the fun when viewing some of Eyyubov’s art. Although I admit to being stumped about the bat in the above stamp.  Any help would be appreciated.

Year of the Rat 2020 Azeribaijan

Release date: April 1, 2021


 

100th Anniversary of the Outstanding Azerbaijani Mathematician & Father of Fuzzy Logic Lotfi Zadeh  

Father of Fuzzy Logic Azerbaijan stamps 

100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE OUTSTANDING AZERBAIJANI, MATHEMATICIAN, FATHER OF FUZZY LOGIC LOTFI ZADEH FDC

1 stamp, sheet of 8, FDC, cancel

Artwork: Vuqar Eyyubov

Release date: April 13, 2021


 

Azerbaijan’s Ancient Stone Monuments

ANCIENT STONE MONUMENTS ANCIENT STONE MONUMENTS ANCIENT STONE MONUMENTS

3 stamps

Artwork: Vuqar Eyyubov

Release date: April 14, 2021


 

Azerbaijan stamps for June

EUROPA 2021 – endangered national species

 Caucasian Leopard mini sheet Azerbaijan stamps

Muflon on a single stamp Azerbaijan stampsSouth Caucasus lizard single stamp Azerbaijan stamps 

stampsMuflon sheet of South Caucasus lizard sheet ofbooklet of muflon & lizrd stamps 

EUROPE 2021 CEPT Azerbaijan FDC cat cover  EUROPE 2021 CEPT Azerbaijan FDC

3 stamp, booklet, 2 sheets of 8, mini sheet of leopard, booklet of muflon & lizard stamps, 2 FDCs, cancel

  • Caucasian Leopard (Panthera Pardus Ciscaucasica)

The Caucasian, Persian or West Asian leopard, as it’s also known, used to be widespread throughout the Caucasus. Numbers fell dramatically in the 20th century, largely because of hunting, persecution, trapping and poisoning. Since the 20th century, the leopard is listed in the Red Book.

Until the early 2000s, very little information was available about leopards living in the territory of Azerbaijan. But thanks to the studies of past 15 years, Azerbaijani zoologists discovered their traces in Hirkan forest, Nakhchivan and Mingachevir water reservoir. Rare Caucasian leopards captured on camera in Azerbaijan [VIDEO] (azernews.az)

  • Muflon (Ovis Orientalis)

Mouflon – Wikipedia 

  • South Caucasus lizard (Eremias Pleskei)

Eremias pleskei, commonly known as Pleske’s racerunner or the trans-Caucasian racerunner, is a species of lizard in the family Lacertidae. The species is native to the Armenian Plateau in ArmeniaAzerbaijanIran, and Turkey. Pleske’s Racerunner – Encyclopedia of Life (eol.org)

Artist: Vugar Eyyubov

Release date: June 24, 2021


 

July

30th Anniversary of the Regional Commonwealth in Field of Communications  

 Azerbaijan stamps 30th ANNİVERSARY OF THE REGİONAL COMMONWEALTH IN THE FIELD OF COMMUNICATIONS (RCC) 1 stamp

Azerbaijan stamps 30th ANNİVERSARY OF THE REGİONAL COMMONWEALTH IN THE FIELD OF COMMUNICATIONS (RCC) 1 stamp 

30th ANNİVERSARY OF THE REGİONAL COMMONWEALTH IN THE FIELD OF COMMUNICATIONS

1 stamp, sheet of 8, FDC, cancel

This is part of a joint issue. Armenia, Belarus and Russia have also issued stamps for this anniversary. 

The Regional Commonwealth in the Field of Communications (RCC) is an organization established on December 17, 1991, in Moscow with the view of ensuring cooperation of new independent states in the field of electrical and postal communications, on a voluntary basis, principles of mutual respect and sovereignty Аn overprinted stamp dedicated to the 30th Anniversary of the Regional Commonwealth in the Field of Communication (russtamp.com)

Artist: Vugar Eyyubov

Release date: July 1, 2021


 

“Tokyo 2020” Summer Olympic Games 2021

 “Tokyo 2020” Summer Olympic Games 2021 

Azerbaijan Olympics 2020 FDC

4 stamps in a sheetlet, FDC,cancel

Artist: Vugar Eyyubov

Release date: July 23, 2021


 

EURO-2020″ Azerbaijan stamps 2021 Football Soccer

Azerbaijan 2021 EURO football 

Azerbaijan 2020 Football FDC

1 stamp, sheet of 8, FDC,

Designer: Vugar Eyyubov

Release date: July 29, 2021


August stamps 

Therapeutic Naftalan Oil

Therapeutic Naftalan Oil

Designer: Orkhan Garayev

Release date: August 2, 2021


If you enjoyed this article, consider supporting Bitter Grounds via a donation via the little coffee cup on the bottom left. I’ll do the heavy lifting in getting the material sorted and you can sit back and enjoy. You can also support the magazine through Patreon. Patreon tiers: Instant Coffee $2 a month, Espresso Shot $5 month, Espresso & Stamps $10 per month, or Deluxe Mocha & Box of Stamps tier – $25 per month. Visit my Patreon page and see what perks come with membership.

As always, I’ll be updating this page throughout the year. You can follow me on Facebook & Twitter for update details. You can also leave me messages and question on either platform or in the comments below. I enjoy chatting with readers.

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Need more? Check out the growing list of stamps by country here  Stamps by country 2021 | Bitter Grounds Magazine

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