World Postcard Day is a fun opportunity to embrace a bit of the past and also celebrate the connections that can be brought into the present through the simple sending and receiving of postcards!
History of World Postcard Day
While the idea for the postcard likely evolved in a number of ways, in 1777 a French engraver designed some sheets of Paris cards that were meant to be cut and sent through the post, likely the first iteration of the postcard. Then, in October, 1869 the government in Austria issued the first official postal card.
It took some time to catch on as these postcards were criticized because they could be read by anyone – including servants. Even so, the convenience and efficiency of the postcard eventually overcame the need for privacy and their popularity continued to grow throughout the world.
With the advent of the email and internet, the use of the postal service or “snail mail” took a hit and postcards did too. But the folks who still loved sending and receiving postcards wanted to continue into this hobby. It was in 2005 that Portuguese software engineer, Paulo Magalhães, started an online platform called Postcrossing, dedicated to finding others with whom he could exchange postcards.
Postcrossing organized a worldwide celebration for the 150th anniversary of the postcard in 2019. The following year Postcrossing, along with Finepaper, saw to the launching of World Postcard Day and the event continues to be celebrated annually.
How to Celebrate World Postcard Day
Get involved with celebrating World Postcard Day, starting with some of these fun activities and ideas:
Send a Postcard
The easiest way to celebrate this day is to pick up a postcard from a local shop, write a note, address it, pop a stamp on it, and drop it into a mailbox. It’s pretty easy, actually. The postcard could have a picture on the front of a special place, a note of encouragement, or just a silly saying. It will likely be a delight for the person on the other end to receive it, just because they were being thought of.
People who enjoy sending and receiving postcards but don’t really have someone in their lives to exchange them with might be interested in joining up with others who also love postcards through the Postcrossing website.
Through this organization, more than 75 million postcards have been sent and received since its founding, bringing joy and cheer across the world. With more than 800,000 members from over 200 countries, it’s always exciting to connect in this way. It’s free to create a Postcrossing account and World Postcard Day might be just the perfect motivation to do it.
Make a World Postcard Day Display
Teachers, parents, librarians, museum curators and so many others can join in with World Postcard Day in unique and varied ways. Perhaps it would be a great educational opportunity for kids to learn lessons on the postal service and teach them the skill of addressing and sending a postcard on their own. Maybe it would be fun for a library, community center or other public space to create a display of historical postcards that have been sent and received in the local area.