Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Remember a few years ago, when we shared the mystery of the Ford Tanus déjà vu? There’s a Vox video about something similar being shared around this week, and it’s just super neat. Have a look!

How cool is that?! Once you see the cloud shaped like a sea creature, it’s hard to “un-see” it! If you’re curious and want to spot a few cloud patterns of your own, you can explore James postcards on his Flickr page — there’s lots of peculiar collections to see.

Only by putting these postcards together side by side can one begin to see the patterns emerge, like noticing the same clouds or the same car parked in a corner of a card. I wonder how many more patterns could postcrossers detect, if they laid all their postcards out like that… Give it a try and let us know if you spot something interesting! 😊

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Has it really been a week? It feels like we’re still in a strange daze, dreaming of postcards, stamps and cancellation marks…

post office stamps sign

Anyway, it was a blast! It felt like the second World Postcard Day was bigger than the first edition, which is awesome — there were a lot more events, but also more postcards being sent in Postcrossing and more buzz on social media all throughout the day as well. The excitement was palpable, and it seemed like everywhere we looked, a celebration was taking place!

Take Jersey Post, for instance, who set up a display at their main post office where people could write words of wisdom in postcards, to share with others. Sage advice has been pouring in from post office visitors, and it’s really heart-warming to see! A few other postal services joined in the day, issuing a number of special cancellation marks and even some postcards, and there were quite a few events taking place in museums too, like the popular “From Me to You” workshop at the London’s Postal Museum’s café, and events for children in Slovenia and Finland.

Mumbai World Postcard Day meeting

Where possible and safe, meetups took place to celebrate the day, in places like Mumbai, Lisbon, Taipei or Bonn! If you were in a meeting, please upload some photos to its forum topic – so few people do these days, but we’d love to see your happy faces and your piles of postcards too.

In London, at Stampex (the biggest stamp collector’s fair in Europe), postcrossers got the chance to listen to a couple of interesting talks about postcards, peruse the stands, and enjoy sending postcards from the show. A total of 3000 World Postcard Day postcards were distributed to visitors this year, so everyone could send a postcard to celebrate the day!

Library pop-up postcard stand

This year, we were happy to see more libraries join in as well, with pop-up postcard writing stations inviting visitors to mail a postcard! A few of these were set up by postcrossers, who donated unwritten postcards to their local libraries and let them know about the World Postcard Day. That was really sweet, and it’s something we’d like to try to replicate in more places next year — wouldn’t it be cool if all libraries had a little postcard basket, encouraging visitors to grab one and mail it on the day? Libraries (and librarians) are the best!

Still, some things didn’t quite go as planned… 😅 Postcrossing’s infrastructure wasn’t made for these peaks of activity, so it struggled a bit to come up with addresses to give out on that day. You might have noticed the site was a little slow or unresponsive at times. Paulo kept an eye on the servers, made some tweaks here and there and slowly things improved towards the second half of the day. We hope to be better prepared for this avalanche next year.

That said, a lot of you have already started seeing the badges on your profiles as your October 1st postcards make their way to their destinations, and I’m sure you’re curious to know how many postcards were sent on that day, right? During October 1st in the UTC timezone, 70,381 postcards were sent through Postcrossing, and that number increases to 75,659 if you count with postcards requested on October 1st in other timezones as well. Hurray! This is about four times more than any other day of the year, so we are super impressed with everyone’s energy and readiness to write a few extra postcards! I bet you looked a bit like us in the gif below…

Two people writing postcards

We’d like to think that these are just a small percentage of postcards sent on World Postcard Day though — hopefully a lot of postcards also went out to friends, family members and other people who we treasure and appreciate.

We hope you all had a wonderful World Postcard Day, surrounded by postcards and the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you’re making other people happy! Thank you for enthusiastically embracing this idea as a community and for making this idea come true, pushing it forward and making the world a better place, one postcard at a time. 💛

PS – Today is World Post Day! UN’s Secretary-General António Guterres said: "On World Post Day, we recognize the invaluable contributions of postal workers to our societies and economies. The vast postal network – involving millions of workers moving billions of pieces of mail through hundreds of thousands of post offices – is woven into our societies, connecting communities the world over. ” It is decidedly so, and we are thankful for all of their hard work that brings us closer together through the mail.

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After months and months of waiting, it’s finally World Postcard Daaaay!! 🥳

Several scattered continents with their landmarks are spread out in a map with airplanes flying around and a hand writes the words Hello and World Postcard Day 2021 in the ocean in the center of the image.

Do you feel the excitement in the air too? If you sit still and listen very very closely, you might be able to hear the busy scribblings of thousands of pens gliding across these little pieces of paper… And have you tried licking a stamp today? They somehow taste better than in any other day of the year… it’s like magic!

World Postcard Day is the day we celebrate the joy that postcards bring, by flooding mailboxes all over the world with happy mail. We cannot but smile imagining the puzzled look of postal workers everywhere, when they notice the avalanche of postcards, making its way through their sorting machines!

For those who are just joining the celebrations for the first time this year, we invite you to learn a bit more about the history of postcards. Did you know this is the day in which they celebrate their 152nd anniversary? Yup! Postcards have been around since 1869, when Dr. Emanuel Herrmann suggested that a practical and cheaper alternative to letters should be implemented for shorter, more efficient communications. His recommendations impressed the Austro-Hungarian Post, who put them to practice on October 1st 1869, resulting in the Correspondenz-Karte… and the rest is history!

Postal operators, museums, philatelic associations, charities, libraries and postcard enthusiasts in different countries have all put together a number of events to celebrate the day, so do make sure to check them out too.

Oh, I forgot to mention this on the last post! The best meal for the World Postcard Day (as suggested by Bonnie Jeanne’s aka postmuse last year) is ravioli, because they look like little postage stamps! So, we challenge you to make or grab some on your way home — it’ll be our shared World Postcard Day tradition, part of the day’s lore.

Wherever you are, however you wish to celebrate, we hope you have a brilliant World Postcard Day… and we’ll see you on your mailbox! 😊

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The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcards’ messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

Many of us, as Postcrossers, end up seeing quite a lot of our local post office, one way or another. In some ways, they’re similar all around the world, because they have the same basic function: allow people to send letters and parcels, nationally and internationally. But there are a lot of differences, too, from the colour scheme to the things the post office might share a building with—so that’s this month’s prompt!

In October, write about your local post office!
post office stamps sign

My local post office is really tiny. It’s in the little shop on the corner that sells a range of convenient things like bread, baked beans, snacks and pre-made sandwiches. There aren’t many other shops close by, so that shop has a bit of everything, including the post office and a small selection of envelopes, writing paper and boxes for mailing things. You have to kind of squeeze in there, and there’s always a wait because there’s normally only one person manning both the cash register and the post office window!

Because of that, I can never quite manage to go to the post office without also coming away with some snacks, a loaf of bread, and whatever else we managed to forget while doing the shopping earlier in the week. Also, you end up hearing about everybody else’s business, because the people in front of you are sending a care package to their daughter at university, returning something they bought on Ebay or picking up foreign currency ready for their trip to Greece. Somehow it’s never just buying a book of stamps, and because it’s a small local shop, everyone wants to chat…

What’s your local post office like? Is it big and impersonal, or do you see your neighbours there? Do you know the people you buy stamps from, and do they know you do Postcrossing? We’d love to hear all about it, in the comments on this post and on your postcards in October!

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Who’s ready for the biggest day of the year, next Friday? 🙋‍♀️ We’ve ordered some postcards, restocked our stamp supplies, refilled our fountain pens and made a quick list of people we’d like to send postcards to on this special day, so we’re super ready to spend October 1st spreading the joy of happy mail!

World Postcard Day logo

Join us in mailing a postcard to a friend or a relative, to someone who needs a bit of cheering up, a thank you postcard to a person who had a positive impact in your life this year or help a little one send their first postcards! These are some of the ways in which you can celebrate the day and spread some mail joy.

You can also send postcards to other postcrossers, and like last year, if you request an address through Postcrossing on World Postcard Day, you’ll get your a special badge on your profile (or a little something extra on your current World Postcard Day badge, if you already have one). Last year, we made things a bit confusing with timezones (they’re so complicated 😱!), so this year we decided to simplify: if you send a postcard during October 1st in the timezone of your account’s location, it’ll be counted for the badge. That should make it easier: just draw addresses during your October 1st, and when one of those postcards arrives, the badge will show up on your profile!

And last but not least, there are a number of events organised around the world to celebrate the day — from exhibitions and seminars, to children activities, special cancellation marks and even some meetings of enthusiastic postcrossers taking place. Check out the Events page for more details and to join an event near you!

Even if there’s nothing happening in your area, you can still join an online event — like this seminar by Barry Stagg (Chairman of the British Thematic Association) on the various ways in which to collect, store and display picture postcards. Or, you can participate via Instagram Live on a postcard-writing event organised by “From Me to You”, a UK charity that will be writing postcards for people in hospitals. We’ll be online too, quietly writing postcards most of the day on Postcrossing’s Discord server voice channel — you’re welcome to join us there, if you’d like.

Let us know in the comments how you’re planning to spend this special day… and let the countdown begin!

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