New Year card
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A New Year card is similar to a Christmas card, but marks the New Year. It can be used by non-religious persons, who have no interest in referring to Christmas or using Christian symbols. A focus is given to the new year and to the wishes of "happiness", "health", "contentment" and "success" in the forthcoming year.
New Year cards are generally used by atheists, non-religious people, and people from mixed religious backgrounds, such as Japan, where they are used to celebrate the Japanese New Year. These cards are also popular in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Following the tradition established by the New Year cards of Charles Chotek of Chotkow, the highest Burgrave of Bohemia (function roughly similar to a prime minister) between 1826 and 1843, Czechs and Slovaks still use the old French inscription pour féliciter, or "P.F.", together with the number of forthcoming years, standing for "be happy in the forthcoming year". The author of many Chotek's New Year Cards was Prague painter and engraver Josef Bergler.
New Year cards are often, however not necessarily, free of Christian and Christmas symbols. Some of them are abstract, some depict nature or winter symbolism, such as snow, and some are witty. Many New Year cards are home-made and therefore more related to the personality of the author. Some New Year cards depict semi-secularised symbols of Christmas, like the Christmas tree.
Media related to New Year cards at Wikimedia Commons