Postcrossing Blog

Stories about the Postcrossing community and the postal world

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The World Postcard Day logo is on the left, with a montage of mostly orange postcard images on the wright

And none will hear the postman’s knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?

Night Mail, W.H. Auden

The day is here at last — it’s World Postcard Day! 🎉 This is the day in which we celebrate the humble postcard, a means of communication so simple, and yet carrying so much joy and thoughtfulness within it. Today marks the postcard’s 153th anniversary, and amidst this era’s instant messaging and email, they continue to be a treasured way to keep in touch and show someone we care for them.

Around the world, thousands of us are going to be busy writing to the people we treasure or miss, to those who need some joy or appreciation, to children and the elderly and to other fans of postcards! Some are joining one of the events taking place in museums and libraries, others are meeting in person to write some postcards together, visiting stamp shows or go fetch a special cancellation mark. It is a day to remember! And at the end of the day, there will be thousands of postcards dropped in postboxes all around the world. It makes us happy to think of all those well-fed postboxes, brimming with postcards and just waiting for the next visit of a mail carrier. What a surprise they will have the next time they empty the postbox!

The Estonian Postcrossing stamp features four black birds on a black background, all holding onto the same postcard in their beak. On the postcard, there's a yellow smiley face on the message side. Several yellow lines, hearts and envelopes float around the birds. The stamp reads POSTCROSSING, EESTI 2022 and 1.90€

If you’re in Estonia today, you’ll also be celebrating the launch of your own Postcrossing-themed stamp, so your World Postcard Day cards will feature this special stamp and be just extra cool. Enjoy!

If this is your first celebration of the day, we suggest taking some time to learn more about the history of postcards, from the popularization of the printing press, to the modern offset printing methods… and all the way to Postcrossing. 😊

If you need a break from writing so many postcards, do come share with us how you’re getting along on your World Postcard Day celebrations on this forum topic, on the comments below, or on social media using the hashtag #worldpostcardday. We’ll be reposting and highlighting some photos and testimonials throughout the day, and we hope they spread the word about the day, and inspire others to write a few postcards as well!

Happy World Postcard Day, everyone! Wherever you are, however you wish to celebrate, we hope you have a great one!

PS: Don’t forget the ravioli! Or maybe some Leibniz cookies, which someone pointed out are also shaped like postage stamps! 😋

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October 1st is World Postcard Day, so we’re publishing next month’s writing prompt a few days in advance. 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!

Sheila (aka altmanhome) sent in this fun suggestion for a writing prompt: she mentioned being curious about people’s name meanings, or why they were given a particular name. It’s often interesting to hear about naming traditions within families, unusual name origins, etc, so that’s this month’s prompt!

In October, write about the origins of your name.
Stone carving of the goddess Nike at the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus

I usually go by the name “Nicky”, which is a shortened version of the name my parents gave me that means “victory of the people” (or possibly “people of victory”). I suppose it must come originally from the Greek goddess of victory, Nike, though I haven’t dug deep into the etymology of it!

How about you? What does your name mean, or do you have a fun story about how you came to be called by it? Some folks choose to change their names as adults for a whole variety of reasons, so perhaps if that’s you, you can tell us why you chose yours? We’d love to see your answers in comments to this blog, and as always, you can use it as inspiration when writing postcards in October, as well!

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The World Postcard Day (aka, the “postcardiest” day of the year) is next week already, but there’s still a little bit of time to get ready to celebrate the best day of the year! October 1st is the perfect day to spread smiles in the form of postcards, and if you need some inspiration, we do have a few tips to help you get ready and enjoy the day.

A hand holds a little fan of World Postcard Day postcards against a orangish wall

Naturally, the best activity for World Postcard Day is to send postcards, so you should make sure you have a nice little stash of both postcards and stamps. Is your favorite pen ready and writing smoothly? And have you made sure your address book is up-to-date? Now is a good time to check!

If you’re like us, you would like to make a list of whom you’re planning to send a postcard to. Think about the friends or relatives you treasure, your nice neighbors, the teachers that stoked your curiosity… Maybe you want to go over the contacts on your phone, and think of the people you haven’t seen in a while and who you could surprise with a postcard! Or perhaps there are local institutions that could use some cheering, like the firefighters in your area who faced fires or floods this year… If you have other good suggestions, write them down in the comments — we’d love to hear who you’ll be sending your postcards to.

By the way, remember last year, when Postcrossing’s website had the hiccups on World Postcard Day when everyone tried to send lots of postcards at the same time…? 😅 The project was not made for these peaks of activity, and it has trouble finding recipients when soooo many people are trying to send postcards at the same time. There are a couple of things you can do to help, though! First, if your account is currently set to inactive, consider setting it to active on the day to give the algorithm a few more addresses to chose from. And secondly, remember that in order to receive the World Postcard Day badge on your profile, you only need one postcard sent on October 1st to arrive to its destination… so if you notice the website is getting a little sluggish and you’ve already sent a handful of postcards, say a little prayer for the database and maybe write a postcard to a friend or relative instead. They’ll be happy you’re thinking of them on this special day, and the team here will be thankful you’re thinking of us too!

By the way, if you have little cousins or nephews, or maybe small children in your street or building, consider gathering them around for a mini-workshop on how to write their first postcard! You can all talk about how mail works, decorate and write postcards, and then take a little stroll to the mailbox together. Imagine how happy will they be when the postcards arrive! If you do this, please take pictures to share with us, award yourself five points and then pat yourself on the back with pride — you’re helping to raise a new generation of postcard writers! :)

This year, the World Postcard Day lands on a Saturday, which is brilliant as many of us have more free time on the weekends. I know many postcrossers are planning to attend local meetups (and there are quite a few taking place!), and I’m sure it’ll be special to celebrate this day with like-minded folks who love postcards as much as we do. 😊 There are also other events taking place, like museum workshops and special cancellation marks — check the World Postcard Day events page for the full list.

World Postcard Day logo

If you’re a little antsy to start celebrating the day and have a few postcards to spare, why not sending a one or two to your local media outlets, to let them know the World Postcard Day is coming on October 1st? Maybe they’ll pick up on the news, and mention the day on an article or video piece… wouldn’t that be brilliant?

And last but not least, remember that the “traditional” meal for the World Postcard Day (as suggested by postcrosser Bonnie Jeanne aka postmuse) is ravioli, because they look like small postage stamps!

We hope you have a lovely World Postcard Day next week… and until then, don’t forget to do some wrist exercises to build up strength! 💪

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Today is the day the new Postcrossing-themed stamp from Luxembourg makes its debut, in all its philatelic glory! Don’t their printed stamp sheets look pretty?

Several sheets of Postcrossing stamps from Luxembourg.

Ah… I wish teleportation existed already, so we could quickly buzz ourselves there to send a few postcards! 😍

On the September issue of PhilatéLux (the philatelic magazine from Post Luxembourg's), designer Stina Fisch gave a short interview, sharing a little bit about herself and her work on the Postcrossing stamp. Here is an excerpt of the page dedicated to the Postcrossing stamp:

The cover of the Philatelux magazine, featuring a picture of the Royal Family, and the Postcrossing stamp
This is not the first postage stamp you have designed. What did you find particularly challenging, and how did you overcome that?

One particular challenge was the extremely small format and the need to ensure that it would still be legible. I really wanted to get across the idea of the handwritten message and to express the serendipity of the Postcrossing project — that is, discovering something new and surprising without looking for it.

Do you write and send postcards yourself?

Yes, I love sending postcards because I love to receive them. I keep all my postcards, use them as bookmarks, and leave the postcard in the book when I‘ve finished it. I love coming across them years later. Is writing postcards still a thing? Sure, a text message does the same thing… but a handwritten note means a lot to me… the short walk to the postbox… and then the recipient’s delight at getting a personal message amid bills and flyers.

Congratulations to all Luxembourg postcrossers, and a big thank you to Post Luxembourg, for deeming the Postcrossing community worthy of this honor. The stamp is now available on their webshop, and we look forward to seeing it in postcards flying around the world. If you’re in Luxembourg, do send us some photos of the stamp — we’d love to see these in the hands of postcrossers, or close to one of your yellow postboxes!

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They say “good things come in threes”… so after Luxembourg and Germany, here we are again to present you with the third Postcrossing-themed stamp of 2022, a lovely specimen from Estonia!

The Estonian Postcrossing stamp features four black birds on a black background, all holding onto the same postcard in their beak. On the postcard, there's a yellow smiley face on the message side. Several yellow lines, hearts and envelopes float around the birds. The stamp reads POSTCROSSING, EESTI 2022 and 1.90€

We like it a lot! 😍 A big happy postcard front and center, being carried around by birds! It’s a fun and quirky design, that I think radiates the joy one feels when sending or receiving a postcard.

The designer Triin Heimann is a familiar name in Estonian philately, having designed quite a few popular stamps on a variety of styles. Most notable, she is responsible for the Estonian Lunar New Year series, which has been published for over 10 years! Maybe we’re a little biased, but we think this Postcrossing stamp might be one of her most lively works yet.

The postage on this stamp is for international mail, and Omniva picked October 1st as their stamp launch date, which makes us extra happy as it is also World Postcard Day! And there will also be a cancellation mark and special First Day Postcard available on the day. The FDC postcard has several birds carrying postcards in a blue background on the left, and address lines on the right. The cancellation mark has a similar motive.

If you’re in or around Tallinn on that date, there will be a Postcrossing stamp launch event and meetup taking place at the conference room of the Original Sokos Hotel Viru, in the afternoon — including a mini-postcard fair, with illustrators, designers and publishers selling their postcards! Check out this topic for more details.

We’re excited to see all these happy new stamps making their way across the world… and also to think of them in the albums of philatelic collectors, standing out a little bit from all the other stamps around them.