Central Bank issues silver collectors’ ‘Coin of Seasons’

Take note – story published 9 years ago

The central state bank on Wednesday issued another in its series of collectors’ coins –  a new 5-euro silver piece dedicated to the traditions of Latvian ethnographic folklore.

The obverse side features four farmers working around the sun - a woodcutter (winter), a sowing man (spring), a crop harvester (summer), and a thresher (autumn). The traditional Latvian names for these seasons are titled around the outer ring: the Candle Month, the Leaf Month, the Rye Month and the Frost Month.

The reverse side shows a potato spiked decoratively with straws, as tradition-minded Latvians practice to adorn their home interiors on holidays. The image is surrounded with the four seasonal holiday characters: Father Christmas, a girl swinging at Easter, a Midsummer celebrant, and mummers who roamed farmsteads from Martinmas to Shrovetide. The names of ancient seasonal celebrations are circled along the outer ring of the reverse: CHRISTMAS, SHROVETIDE, EASTER, ŪSIŅI, JĀŅI, MĀRAS (the days of Ūsiņš, Jānis, Māra and Miķelis), and MARTINMAS.

The Central Bank’s website promotes the Coin of Seasons with a poetic essay, an excerpt from which reads as follows:

“The Earth, our vast and only home, is full of rhythms that organise and sometimes interfere with people's lives. The place where Latvians are destined to live has been called God's land, our Green Land and Land of Laima. Everything seems to be well proportioned here: there are times of bitter cold and times of blazing heat, there are pouring rains and serene mists that veil our fields and woods, cities and lakes, villages and farms. To use a fashionable expression, we live in the comfort zone.”

The new coin was designed by Arvids Priedite and modeled in plaster by Ligita Franckeviča to be minted in the Netherlands.

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