World Post Day

Every year on October 9th, World Post Day is celebrated around the world. This international holiday falls on the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union, which began in Switzerland in 1874. The purpose of this holiday is to bring the postal sector to the public’s attention so they can understand just how important it is in each country and how it benefits people and businesses. That’s probably why it’s celebrated in over 150 countries around the world.

The History of World Post Day

World Post Day was first declared in Tokyo, Japan, in 1969 at the UPU Congress. It was proposed by a member of the Indian delegation, Shri Anand Mohan Narula, and was soon adopted by the United Nations when the UPU became an agency under them. It has since been celebrated every year to underline the importance of postal services to people and businesses around the world.

Fun Facts About Postal Services

Although most people don’t give much thought to their local post office and everything it does, postal services do impact people on a very personal level. That’s why we decided that we should illustrate that point and list some of the facts that we’ve learned about the world’s postal services—including the one in the U.S.

  • India was one of the first countries to become part of the UPU.
  • In India, the postal service has thirty-eight heritage buildings that have architectural value.
  • The U.S. Post Office is the second-oldest federal department in the U.S.
  • The first president featured on American stamps was George Washington.
  • The first post office in colonial America was established in 1639 in a Boston home that also served as a tavern.
  • The Pony Express was never part of the U.S. postal service.
  • The Royal Mail started in 1516 when King Henry VIII appointed Sir Brian Tuke the first Master of the Posts.
  • The USPS has the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world.
  • In New Zealand, most mail is delivered by bicycle. This is also true in China and India.
  • In mountainous parts of Tibet and Sichuan, horse couriers are used.
  • In Australia, bicycles are used on over 350 routes, and motorcycles are used on over 6,600 routes.
  • Rome had one of the most highly developed postal systems in the ancient world.
  • Ancient Rome’s postal system was called the Cursus Publicus.

Observing World Post Day

World Post Day is observed by postal agencies around the world and is usually celebrated with a new stamp or postal service. It’s also common for some countries to have exhibits that are related to stamps and other postal products. People can individually observe World Post Day by thanking their mail carrier personally or by giving a shout-out to all postal carriers using the hashtag #WorldPostDay.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 9 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
October 9 Thursday
Last year (2023)
October 9 Monday
Awareness & Cause, United Nations