Today (and also tomorrow) is held in France an event organized by the French postal administration called "La fête du timbre" that I could translate as "the stamp feast". At this occasion various philatelic events are organized in several cities. This is also the occasion for the French post to issue new stamps and to run first day ceremonies.
Despite the heavy rain I woke up early this morning to participate to the one of Paris. After queuing for 40 minutes outside (and therefore becoming completely wet) I could enter the place and buy few stamps that I'm going to share with you today. I also sent to myself some covers to get the "first day of issue" cancel. I will show them to you when I receive them later this week.
The whole event is around protection of the environment as you will see. The first stamp that is issued at this occasion is a stamp re-suing the design of French definitive stamps, the very famous Mariane. The left side of the stamp is written "Let's protect the Earth" and shows a hand planting a plant.
The second issue is a souvenir sheet containing one stamp. The subject of the souvenir sheet is the strawberry.
Two other things to mention, less positive this time. The first one is that the souvenir sheet is extremely difficult to stick on a cover. This is because on the verso, the printed part is not gummed. And finally let's note the very high face value: two Euro! This is huge.
I also bought the philatelic document of this issue (because I found it rather nice). Here is the cover of the document.
The stamps are pre-personalized stamps. Five of them contains actual seeds that could can sow to grow a plant.
The small black dots that you see on some of the stamps are the seeds, that are maintained in a small plastic cap. This is not a first as I think Netherlands was the first country to issue stamps with seeds (I think the technology was different, the seeds being incorporated in the paper). I wonder how many people are going to actually sow the stamps? And how many people are going to use these stamps on cover? I guess none!
To conclude, let me show you also a card that I got as a gift. This is a pre-stamped card re-using the Mariane stamp.