Events · List

15 Literary Holidays (and others that should exist)

Since this is the time of year when we’re thinking the most about holidays (and because the new year is right around the corner), I put together a list of literary holidays to celebrate in addition to those we do already! Once you’ve gotten your new 2017 calendar, go ahead and add these, too:

  1. January 18: Winnie the Pooh Day: This one is pretty straightforward… it’s a day to celebrate everyone’s favorite bear, Winnie the Pooh.
  2. January 25: Burns Supper: The annual celebratory tribute to the life, works and spirit of the Scottish poet Robert Burns.
  3. March 2: Read Across America Day/Dr. Seuss Day: This is a nationwide day of reading, celebrated on Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
  4. March 25: Gondorian New Year: The day LOTR fans celebrate the day Frodo destroyed the Ring in Mount Doom (Gondor later adopted this day as its New Year).
  5. April 21: National Poem in Your Pocket Day: People celebrate this day by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day in person or online (using the hashtag #pocketpoem).
  6. April 28: Great Poetry Reading Day: This day celebrates great poetry and the great poets that wrote them. To celebrate this holiday online, use the hashtag #GreatPoetryReadingDay.
  7. May 25: Towel Day: In celebration of Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, fans around the world carry towels (#towelday).
  8. June 16: Bloomsday: On this day, James Joyce fans around the world gather ’round to read his work and act out the events of his novel Ulysses, which takes place on June 16.
  9. June 20: Dalloday: Using Bloomsday as a basis, Dalloday is celebrated on June 20 as a time to celebrate Clarissa Dalloway’s famous party. On this day, Virginia Woolf fans marathon read Mrs. Dalloway.
  10. July 4-6: National Tom Sawyer Days: Usually celebrated on July 4, this is a celebration of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Most of the activities/competitions are based off of events in the novel!
  11. July 16-21: Hemingway Days: This celebration takes place in the Florida Keys, and involves several Hemingway-inspired activities, including a Hemingway look-alike contest!
  12. September 22: Hobbit Day: Part of Tolkien Week, this day falls on Bilbo and Frodo’s shared birthday!
  13. October 16: Dictionary Day: “National Dictionary Day was created in honor of Noah Webster’s birthday (October 16, 1758) and was set aside as a day to emphasize the importance of learning and using dictionary skills and increasing one’s vocabulary. Webster is considered the Father of the American Dictionary.”
  14. November 1: National Family Literacy Day: A great way to get your whole family involved with reading. The official holiday is Nov. 1, but celebrations usually last all month!
  15. November 6: National Nonfiction Day: This is a celebration in the UK of children’s nonfiction books!

All those holidays sound great, but as I looked through some other lists, I noticed some things missing. If I had the choice, here are some literary holidays I would create:

  1. July 31: Harry Potter Day: Since this is both J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter’s birthday, it seems like the perfect day for people to celebrate. Some people have taken up celebrating in May, after the Battle of Hogwarts took place, but I think July 31 works better.
  2. August or September: Gatsby Day: I’m not quite sure when the events of The Great Gatsby take place, but it’s definitely during the summer. August would probably work better, since Gatsby dies right as autumn comes… might be a bit of a holiday bummer.
  3. October 27: Sylvia Plath Day: I just think we need more poetry holidays, so this could really go for any poet! October 27 was Plath’s birthday, hence the date.
  4. November 29: Louisa May Alcott/C.S. Lewis/Madeleine L’Engle Day: All of these awesome authors had their birthdays on November 29 (Alcott has a great quote about it in Little Women). This day would be great for celebrating all of them!
  5. November 30: L.M. Montgomery Day: I just really love Anne of Green Gables, so this one was a no-brainer.

What literary holidays would you create?

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