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Quick Facts : World Book Day


Date: Apr 23, 2014 Type: International Also Called:
Celebrations:
 

World Book Day

Image Courtesy: PhotoXpress
 

World Book Day is celebrated every year on April 23. UNESCO undertakes the responsibility of the event. With the help of the event, UNESCO aims to inculcate reading habits among people, especially the youth and highlight the various issues surrounding authors, publishers and other related parties. Since Copyright is a big issue in the world of books and writing, there is always a focus on the issue on the World Book Day. That’s why, in many parts of the world, this day is also known as the World Book and Copyright Day.

The first ever World Book Day was celebrated on April 23, 1995. The date as decided by UNESCO as it was also the death and birth anniversary of William Shakespeare, a world famous author. The date also coincided with the death anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes, who was a noted Spanish author. Some other well known authors whose birth or death anniversary falls on this day are Maurice Druon, Josep Pla and Halldor Laxness.

The idea of the day was taken from a Spanish tradition. April 23rd has always been celebrated as “The Rose Day” in Spain. On this day, people exchanged roses for showing their love and support, much like the Valentine’s Day. However, in 1926, when Miguel de Cervantes dies on the day, people exchanged books instead of roses in order to commemorate the death of the great author. The tradition continues to this day in Spain and that’s from where the idea of the World Book Day came about.

As the name suggests, the focus of the day is on books and writing. Thus, various programs are held by UNESCO to promote reading habits among people. Focus is also on discussing various issues pertaining to the world of authors, publishers, distributors etc. as well as promoting their works and causes.

However, unlike other such days, there are no themes decided as such by UNESCO each year, although there is a specific topic around which programs are organized every year. Apart from that, there are traditions on the day which are specific to some countries. The tradition of exchanging books in Spain has already been talked about. There is also the tradition of organizing a reading marathon spanning two days in Spain, at the end of which an author is given the coveted Miguel de Cervantes prize by the King of Spain. In Sweden, writing competitions are organized across schools and colleges.

In UK as well as Ireland, the day is celebrated on the first Thursday of March instead of April 23. April 23 is the St. George’s Day in UK, and hence, to avoid a clash with it, the day has been moved in UK as well as Ireland.

The organizing body of the day, UNESCO, comes with different themes for the day each year. In 2012, the theme of the day was translation. The theme of World Book Day 2012 was decided in order to promote “equitable access of content across regions.”

 

International holidays celebrated in year 2014



International Holidays and Observances

Jan 01Global Family DayJan 04World Braille DayJan 11International Thank-You Day
Jan 30World Leprosy DayFeb 12Darwin DayFeb 21International Mother Language Day
Feb 22World Thinking DayMar 01International Day of the SealMar 08International Women's Day
Mar 20World Frog DayMar 21World Down Syndrome DayMar 22World Water Day
Mar 23World Meteorological DayMar 29Earth HourApr 02International Children’s Book Day
Apr 07World Health DayApr 12Yuri's NightApr 13International Special Librarian’s Day
Apr 21International Creativity and Innovation DayApr 22Earth DayApr 23World Book Day
Apr 25World Penguin DayMay 03World Press Freedom DayMay 05International Midwives Day
May 08World Red Cross DayMay 10World Lupus DayMay 12International Nurses Day
May 13IEEE Global Engineering DayMay 15International Day of FamiliesMay 18International Museum Day
May 21World Day for Cultural DiversityMay 22International Day for Biological DiversityMay 23World Turtle Day
May 24World Schizophrenia DayMay 25Towel DayMay 31World No-Tobacco Day
Jun 08World Ocean DayJun 14World Blood Donor DayJun 16International Day of the African Child
Jun 17World Day to Combat Desertification & DroughtJun 20World Refugee DayJun 26International Day Against Drug Abuse & Trafficking
Jul 11World Population DayJul 16World Snake DayAug 08Universal & International Infinity Day
Aug 09International Day of the World’s Indigenous PeopleAug 10International Biodiesel DayAug 12International Youth Day
Aug 13International Lefthanders DayAug 14World Lizard DayAug 23International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade & its Abolition
Sep 08International Literacy DaySep 13International Chocolate DaySep 15Software Freedom Day
Sep 16International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone LayerSep 19Talk Like a Pirate DaySep 21World Gratitude Day
Sep 22World Car-Free DaySep 29Inventors DayOct 01International Music Day
Oct 02World Farm Animals DayOct 03World Temperance DayOct 04World Animal Day
Oct 05World Teacher's DayOct 10World Mental Health DayOct 16World Food Day
Oct 17International Day for the Eradication of PovertyOct 24United Nations DayOct 29International Internet Day
Nov 08World Town Planning DayNov 16International Day for ToleranceNov 21World Television Day
Nov 25International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against WomenNov 30International Computer Security DayDec 01World Aids Day
Dec 02International Day for the Abolition of SlaveryDec 05International Volunteers DayDec 07International Civil Aviation Day
Dec 10Human Rights Day
 
 
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