Who doesn’t love a good holiday? Here are some of the best literary holidays that you need to mark on your calendar if you’re a fellow book lover!
1. Teen Read Week – October 9-15th
Teen Read Week is a national adolescent literacy initiative that was established in 1998 with the purpose of encouraging teens to become regular readers and library users. It can be spent reading your favourite YA/dystopian novels.
2. Burns Supper – January 25th
A holiday that is celebrated throughout the United Kingdom, and especially Scotland, this celebration (named for the nation’s premier poet—Robert Burns, and also known as Robbie Burns Day or even Rabbie Burns Day) enjoy a helping of Scottish favorites, including haggis, a dish that is addressed in the verses of Burns himself. Poems by Burns are read, speeches of appreciation are performed and it ends with celebrants dancing the night away.
3. Bloomsday – June 16th
One of the most well-known literary holidays, Bloomsday derives its name from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of James Joyce’s Ulysses. It is set on the day on which the entirety of the events in the aforementioned book take place. It enjoys a popularity mainly in Joyce’s Dublin and at the Stateside celebration centers at Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum & Library, which is also home to the handwritten manuscript of Ulysses and which plays host to a special event to commemorate Bloomsday.
4. Library Lovers Day – February 14th
Step aside Valentine’s Day, there’s another holiday in town! Books are bae and Library Lovers Day is an example of the same. As the title signifies, it is a day for and dedicated to library lovers everywhere and can be celebrated by spending much deserved time at your local branch/library and seeking out incredible books, great programming and other such important resources. Not to mention spending some time with some of the most helpful and important people on the planet: librarians.
5. National Tell a Story Day – April 27th
April 27 marks National Tell a Story Day, a holiday that is meant to encourage people , age group regardless, to come together and share stories, whether it is one of their own or narrated from another book. And if you have been waiting to try out a narrative on an audience, then this day might be your best chance, so let go of stage fear and attend a book reading or an open mic to celebrate the art of storytelling and polish your storytelling and narration skills.
6. Mad Hatter Day – October 6th & June 10th
This unofficial holiday dedicated to Lewis Carroll’s famous ditzy but loyal character was created in 1986 in Boulder Colorado by a group of computer technicians who were inspired by the Hatter and his antics in Carroll’s Magnum opus Alice in Wonderland. The date for the holiday was chosen due to how John Tenniel illustrated the Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. The English illustrator who doubled as a political cartoonist depicted the Hatter wearing a hat with a piece of paper that has 10/6 written on it. This number refers to the cost of a hat – 10 shillings and 6 pence.
7. High Five a Librarian Day – November 18th
High-fiving your local librarian and telling them how much you appreciate them and their hard work is the only way to celebrate this holiday… and this also a fool proof way to earn some free books!
8. Hemingway Days – July 18th- 23rd
Head to Key West, Florida, Ernest Hemingway’s favourite place in the world which holds events in his honor on these dates. From book readings to book signings, look-alike contests and so much more, the party never stops in Key West on Hemingway Day.
9. LGBTQIA+ Book Month – All through June
The full month of June offers the opportunity to shed light on incredible LGBTQ+ titles and to appreciate authors from the LGBTQIA+ community or those representing the community in their works.
10. El Dia De Los Ninos (Children’s Book Day) – April 30th
This day is supposed to be a celebration of timeless children literature. Take the time out to read a story to your child or take them on a trip to the library to celebrate and thus inculcate the love for reading in them as well.
11. Read Across America/Dr. Seuss’ Birthday – March 2nd
This celebration is an opportunity for the National Education Association to encourage parents, teachers, as well as young children to share their love of reading with each other. And even better, it falls on the great Dr. Seuss’ birthday, so grab one of the good doctor’s books and a plate of green eggs and ham and go nuts!
12. Take Your Child to the Library Day – February 3rd
Take Your Child to the Library Day (TYCLD) is an international initiative that was started so that families everywhere had an excuse to take their children to their local library. It was launched in 2011 in Connecticut by librarians Nadine Lipman (Waterford Public Library, retired) and Caitlin Augusta (Stratford Library) with artist Nancy Elizabeth Wallace to raise community awareness about the importance of the library in the life of a child, and through this initiative the kind and innovative librarians also helped promote library services and programs for children and their families. Events include inviting a local author to read to kids and/or to have an author meet & greet, book character visits, bookmark design contests, goodies, games, library card sign ups and more!
13. National Grammar Day – March 4th
Founded in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough (she also founded the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar), this is a day to read up on your favorite style guides. Events include annual Twitter-based, grammar-themed haiku contests. On this day you also have full authority to be a total grammar Nazi and a human auto correct!
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