It is an ancient tradition in The Netherlands for printers to have a celebration on the first Monday of the year. The printers would make a special print for the owners of the printing-studio’s, and they in return would give the workers presents, and lots of alcohol.
The result of this practice was that there was very little, or none at all, printing done in the first week of the year. Multatuli, a famous nineteenth-century writer complained that one of his books wouldn’t be ready to be published due to Coppermonday.
As I am a member of the ”Graphic Centre of Groningen” where coppermonday is an ongoing tradition, I had a very nice Monday evening. As we are all artist-printers we also give specially made prints to each other. There is an official coppermonday-print which is being sold via the local newspaper, and a Graphic center print, which is made by one of the members. This year it’s a very good one made by Wim. I know him well as we work on the same lithography-course on Tuesday.
As I leave these things to the last minute, (I know: Shame on me) and I’ve been ”the complete invalid” for the last five weeks of 2007, I had nothing to give out. Luckily I still got quite a good haul from my friends 🙂
After the speech and unveiling of the prints, time for meeting and greeting, and drinking! Luckily there were non-alcoholic drinks too, but I saw the box of empty bottles next day, and the tradition seems fully alive still ! I couldn’t stay long though; I didn’t want to bother to take my crotches with me on my bicycle, and that was a mistake, because I started to hurt very much and had to go home early. But: good evening!
Update: By ”printers” I mean: the men & women who use very oldfashioned printing presses, to make art or do typography in a very oldfashioned way! 🙂 🙂 🙂 With ink, and paper, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears! 🙂