Card Reading Day on February 21 is a sentimental holiday on which people savor the greeting cards sent to them over the years. There is nothing better than going through aisles of greeting cards and selecting one that will best express our feelings for another. These cards are special and we hold on to them for sentimental reasons.
History of Card Reading Day
In Ancient Egypt, greetings were exchanged through inscriptions. This evolved by the 15th century when engravings were carved on wood for occasions like Christmas and New Year’s Day. But it wasn’t until the tradition of Valentine’s Day in the 1400s that greeting cards truly emerged. When postage stamps were introduced in England in 1840, Valentine’s Day mail increased. In 1843, the first Christmas card was designed by John Callcott Horsley.
From the 1830s until the Civil War, sentiment cards were most popular in the United States. Greeting cards started getting commercially produced by the 1860s and became widespread. Production of greeting cards decreased in the 1890s, and Germany became the market leader until WW1. This is when the United States became prominent once again in the greeting card industry. Hallmark cards became especially famous globally for their innovative production techniques and quality of cards.
Today, more people exchange greeting cards in the United States than in any other country. Even though eCards and greetings conveyed on social media have increased, tangible greeting cards remain popular. Christmas cards are the most popular in the seasonal cards category, whereas birthday cards are the most popular everyday cards.
Stationery companies and eCard companies campaign and encourage everyone to send cards on Card Reading Day.
Card Reading Day timeline
Valentine’s cards become affordable and popular.
Prang introduces its first line of Christmas cards in the U.S.
Hallmark, the largest and oldest manufacturer of greeting cards, is founded by Joyce Hall.
Seven billion greeting cards are purchased annually in the United States.
Card Reading Day FAQs
Why are greeting cards important?
A greeting card is timeless as it expresses and conveys emotions through visuals and just the right words. Whether it is to thank someone, apologize, or express how much you admire someone, cards act as a medium for connecting on an emotional level with our loved ones.
When did greeting cards begin?
Sending greeting cards is a tradition that dates back to the ancient Chinese and the ancient Egyptians.
Are greeting cards still relevant?
Greeting cards are relevant and will stay this way for a long time. Greeting cards themselves can last for many many years, preserving the sentiment and memories associated with them.
Card Reading Day Activities
Read your old greeting cards
As the name of the holiday suggests, pull out your stack of greeting cards and read them. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be glad that you held on to them.
Send a card
Send a card to a loved one, or anyone in your life who you appreciate. It will put a huge smile on their face.
Share on social media
Post your cards on social media and encourage others to pull out their greeting cards too. Let’s keep the tradition of cards alive!
5 Fun Facts About Greeting Cards
A card for everything
There are cards for every occasion, relationship, age group, and gender.
Card-giving is still very much a thing
90% of all households in the U.S. purchase at least one greeting card a year.
The number of cards received
The average person receives more than 20 cards per year.
People love receiving cards
Nine out of 10 Americans look forward to receiving greeting cards.
Publishers are growing
There are more than 3,000 greeting card publishers in the U.S., from small businesses to huge corporations.
Why We Love Card Reading Day
Cards have sentimental value
The whole reason we hold on to greeting cards is because they are so personal. A loved one’s hand may have moved across the card to write on it. The card is evidence of the sender’s handwriting and cards signify an event in time.
Keeping the tradition alive
Card Reading Day encourages everyone to send cards, keeping the tradition alive. We have become so used to sending greetings and wishes over instant messaging apps or social media, but there is nothing quite like the real thing.
The cards themselves aren’t as valuable as the sender and receiver. At the core of Card Reading Day is nurturing the beautiful bonds we have in life, and reminding people how much they mean to us.
Card Reading Day dates