Did you know that Mexico has some unique holidays and observances we don’t recognize here in the United States? There are the more well-known ones, such as “Day of The Dead” and “Cinco De Mayo,” but have you ever heard of Postman’s Day? This is a very unique holiday that is distinct to Mexico, with a rich and interesting history. Read on to learn more.
History of the Postal Service in Mexico
The postal service is not new to Mexico, although it has evolved drastically over the years. It actually has a really unique history.
In 1580, after the Spanish conquest, the Spanish adopted a system of message runners, or corredores. The word is derived from the Spanish word correr meaning ‘to run.’ In the Aztec days, Mexico’s ‘message runners’ were the postal men of that time. How they operated was unique. The roads which connected the different areas were marked with roadside towers, roughly every 10km apart. The corredores, would carry messages from tower to tower.
Fun Fact: Legend has it that Emperor Moctezuma ate fresh fish daily by means of this relay delivery system, talk about customer service!
Mexico’s first formal postage service was established in 1813. It was set up to delivered scheduled messages back and forth from Mexico City and the country’s provinces. Interestingly, the first actual postage stamp wasn’t issued until 1824, when Mexico’s Teasury Department took over the postal system. This history stamp featured Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the ‘father’ of the Mexican revolution.
What is the Story Behind Postman’s Day?
Luis G. Franco, a retired army colonel, recognized the hard work of a dedicated Mexican postman, who took off his own jacket during a rain storm to protect the mail he was carrying. Luis was touched by this gesture and organized a celebration to honor all postmen. Thus, Dia del Cartero, Postman’s Day, was born on November 12, 1931.
Nearly 2 decades later, in 1947, the first commemorating stamp was issued by General de Correos. It was called “Anonymous Hero.” More recently, in 1997, an additional 14 stamps were issued marking Dia del Cartero. And so the recognition lives on!
Modern Postman’s Day
The legend of Luis G Franco and the Mexican postal service lives on. To this day, it is customary for locals to give their postman a gift on Postman’s Day. This unique cultural tradition is an important token of appreciation for the people who serve the local communities around Mexico.
At Benito’s we value and appreciate Mexico’s unique history. We express this through our presentation of Authentic Mexican food since 1981. Come on in and try us out today, we promise you won’t be disappointed!