Happy New Year from the USSR! Postcards of the Bygone Era

With the New Year coming up, it is time to look hopefully into the coming year and to send someone you love a post card with the best wishes. For me, few modern cards come close to the personality and warmth eminating from the vintage cards. In my family’s archive there are a number of such cards, that were collected by my grandparents from the time even before my mother was born.

Inspired by the article 15 nostalgic Soviet New Year postcards in Russia Beyond the Headlines and by a Telegram post showing how “In the city of Sovetsky, bus stops were decorated with drawings from old Soviet postcards.”, I started scanning this festive part of the collection.

Each postcard is represented with both the face and reverse sides, in the original, aged, paper colour and with the white balance restored (see the links under each picture for the additional versions). The cards are indexed by the year they were approved from printing, meaning that they were used to congratulate people with the next, coming, year.





Note the flags of all the Soviet republics on the New Year Tree!


This postcard has a Flight to the Moon theme to it. In 1959 the USSR missions Luna-1, 2, and 3 were the first successful voyages to the Moon.



The price of the first card states both 20 kopeks and 2 kopeks (after 01.01.1961). This card bears historical witness to the monetary reform of 1961.


The theme of this postcard is inspired by a 1950 cartoon from Sojuzmultfilm “When the New Year Trees Are Lit”, and specifically a scene at 14 minutes into the film:




This post card is the first in this collection to have a template for the machine-read postal index sorting on the reverse. Also of note is that the price of the postal stamp has not changed since 1966.


This is the first photographic, and not hand-drawn post card, so it actually qualifies as “modern”. The postage stamp cost is still 4 kopeks, as it was in 1966.

Unknown year

This mini-card, intended to be sent in an envelope, does not carry any indication of its production year. However, judging by the style, it must be from somewhere in the beginning of 1970s.

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