“New best wishes on good old Christmas cards”: NSK reviving almost forgotten well-wishing tradition

Objavljeno 4.12.2020.

The National and University Library in Zagreb has launched New best wishes on good old Christmas cards, a special campaign aimed at reviving an almost forgotten well-wishing tradition during the Christmas and New Year holidays through the presentation of valuable resources in the Library’s Print Collection. Preparing a rich programme of activities under the slogan Greeting cards for each and every wish, the Library wants to bring closer to the public its rich Christmas cards collection and thus inspire citizens to make this Christmas special and wish their loved ones happy holidays in the old-fashion way. For this purpose, the Library partnered with the Večernji list daily, whose issue on 13 December 2020 will include a charming selection of the Library’s Christmas cards, as the two partners’ gift to Croatian citizens.

Christmas and New Year cards are a valuable part of global cultural heritage. In the 19th century they became the central part of Christmas customs and replaced older, oral well-wishing traditions, which apart from spoken wishes included those given through songs. The Library’s Print Collection, which altogether holds some 150,000 cards of various types, owns almost five hundred unique Christmas cards dating from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. They offer fascinating glimpses into past times, holding valuable records of the history of places, people and events. Due to their motifs and the patina of days gone by, they are still interesting, especially in terms of providing us with a revealing insight into how people used to wish each other well in the old times.

Owing to circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many will not be able to spend these holidays with their family and friends, and this additionally prompted us to revive the old well-wishing Christmas tradition in which Christmas cards are vividly representing an almost century-old part of Croatian heritage and stand as the powerful symbols of togetherness, connectedness and joy. Digital age has changed the ways in which we communicate, and accordingly affected the tradition of exchanging Christmas cards. We invite all citizens to use these Christmas holidays and reconnect with each other through the simple, and yet so powerful act of writing. Regardless of who they might address it to, a Christmas card opens the way for us to always remain connected in our hearts and send our dear ones our best wishes, for each of which there is a special card in the Library’s collections, pointed out the Head of the NSK Marketing and Communications Section Sandi Antonac.

Follow the Library’s website and its profiles and pages on social networks for all details about the campaign.