EUROPA (Circus)

Date of Issue : May 9, 2002
Designer : Riho Luuse
Denomination : 6 kr 50 s
Perforation : 12¾:13
Sheet Content : 8 Stamps (4 x 2)
Printing Process : Offset
Printing House : AS Vaba Maa
Quantity Issued : 258 528
Order Number : 250-03-2002
First Day Cover Number : 2002-10
Eesti Post : EUROPA (Circus)

Itinerant ropewalkers, fire-eaters and other circus artistes performed in Estonian towns since the Middle Ages, where they formed part of all bigger popular festivals. In more modern times, the tradition lived on at fairs and later in cinemas. From the early 20th century, there are reports of the Jõgimars' (Porros') troupe putting on shows in Narva in 1907. These shows featured sword-swallowing and bed-of-nails acts, contortionists, parodists, etc. Also famous wrestlers and weightlifters demonstrated their muscle strength at circus shows.

The first stationary circus in Estonia operated in Pärnu in 1929-30, and there were regular shows also in Tallinn's Grand Marina cinema. Guest performances of foreign troupes (from Riga, Hamburg, later from Moscow, Leningrad, Beijing) frequently came to Estonia from the 1920s onward.

The best-known Estonian circus artistes included, besides the Jõgimar dynasty, also the clowns Max and Lex.

The stamp features Richard Jõgimar as a contortionist.

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