World Post Day is celebrated on October 9. This day is the date when the first postal union, the Universal Postal Union (UPU), was started in 1874 in Bern, Switzerland.
Post is one of the oldest ways of communicating. The postal service is part of people’s daily life all over the world. People send or receive letters and parcels through the postal service.
Did you know that China was one of the first countries to have a postal service? Experts disagree about the date, but it is likely that there was a system during the Qin Dynasty (221–207 BC).
In fact, some experts think that there may have been a postal system before then. In the Zhou Dynasty (1122–256 BC), Confucius (551 –479 BC) said: “news of deeds travels faster than the mail.”
Experts believe that the Chinese Postal Service has been in use for the longest amount of time in the world.
Many students collect stamps for a hobby. This, according to UPU, helps young people to learn about the world.
“The quickest way to learn about a country is probably through stamp collecting,” says Anthony Alverno, a UPU official.
Through stamp collecting you can go back in time to hundreds of years ago or go into outer space. You can meet famous people, or learn about places and animals from around the world.
“It does not cost a lot of money and most of all it’s fun,” says Alverno.
World Post Day is celebrated in many ways. Postal services in many countries use this day to have stamp exhibitions and use special stamps.
Did you know the UK Penny Black, featuring Queen Victoria's portrait was issued on 1 May 1840 and it was the world's first official adhesive postage stamp.
The day marks the anniversary of creation of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in Bern in Switzerland. Then, in 1969, the Universal Postal Union Congress was held in Japan and they declared October 9th World Post Day. These days, countries from all around the world celebrate postal systems everywhere!
Nearly 445 billion letters are delivered around the world every year.
In the UK, the peak period for the Royal Mail (the UK postal system) was 2005-2006 when they delivered around 84 million items every day and had around 14,376 Post Offices across the country!
A number of events will be held worldwide to celebrate the day, including workshops on the art of stamp making and information and seminars about stamp collecting.
Often around this special day, postal services issue special commemorative stamps, so all you budding philatelists (that's stamp collectors to you and me!) should keep your eyes peeled on the World Post Day website!
The day is supported by the United Nations (UN), and you can also find out more about the history of the postal service at the site.