11 Literary Holidays That Every Book Lover Should Know
If you’re a literature lover, you should take every opportunity you can to revel in your love of good books. Luckily, there are a few days or weeks set aside in the year that promote doing just that. Here are some fun and educational holidays that will let you appreciate great works of literature, spend time at your library and even help you create some writing of your own.
- Bloomsday, June 16th: This holiday celebrates the life and work of Irish author James Joyce. On this holiday, participants relive the events of his most famous work, Ulysses, which take place on the same day. Bibliophiles will recognized that the holiday is named after the novel’s main character, Leopold Bloom. While you can celebrate at home, the real party takes place in Dublin with pub crawls, cultural activities, readings and a generally good time.
- Hemingway Days, Third Week of July: To properly celebrate the beard and books of Hemingway on this week-long holiday, you’ll need to head down to Key West Florida. There, you’ll find everything from Hemingway look-alike contests to rounds of drinks served at Hemingway’s favorite Key West bar, Sloppy Joe’s. The celebration culminates with a party on Hemingway’s birthday. The celebrations aren’t all in jest, however, as there is a serious literary award, The Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, held as well.
- Hobbit Day, September 22nd: If you can’t seem to get enough of Middle Earth, spend this fall day celebrating the book and its author, J.R.R. Tolkien. The date was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of hobbits Biblo and Frodo, and often celebrants mark the day with feasts, going barefoot, and general merriment in true hobbit style. Hobbit Day takes place during Tolkien Week, so you can spend the whole week enjoying the author and his works.
- Great Poetry Reading Day, April 28th: Are you a poetry fan? Why not take advantage of this spring holiday then, and read some of the world’s best verse out loud. The holiday offers a great chance to hold a poetry reading party, listen to the poetry of others and perhaps write and read your own great works.
- Tom Sawyer Fence Painting Day, July 1st- 4th: You don’t have to be in Hannibal, Missouri, hometown of the fictional Tom Sawyer, to appreciate this holiday. The celebration, which takes place during the Fourth of July, offers participants the chance to indulge in frog jumping, Tom and Becky contests, parades, and of course, fence painting. If you can’t make it out to Hannibal, have your own Mark Twain themed party at home.
- Clerihew Day, July 10th: A clerihew is a type of four-line verse that is generally biographical, beginning the with the subject’s name and is always humorous. You can celebrate this type of poetry, invented and named after Edmund Clerihew Bentley, throughout the day. Write short poems about your friends (or enemies), fictional characters or just about anything to have a few laughs and gain a greater appreciation for writing at the same time.
- Winnie the Pooh Day, January 18th: Travel back to your childhood with this holiday that commemorates the honey-obsessed bear and his pals. Observed on the birthday of author A.A. Milne, this holiday invites celebrants to read the classic stories to themselves or to share them with the next generation of book lovers.
- Reading is Fun Week, Fourth Week of April: While this holiday was created to share the love of reading with a child, there’s no reason that adults can’t celebrate it on their own as well. Buy yourself a new book, spend some time alone reading, or promote reading in your local community. However you choose to celebrate, this weeklong holiday is a great chance to geek out on reading.
- Dictionary Day, October 16th: Created to honor Noah Webster, best known for his creation of the well-known Webster’s Dictionary, this holiday asks readers to improve their vocabularies and appreciate the importance of the dictionary. Celebrate this holiday by learning a few new works, doing a crossword puzzle or just paging through a dictionary.
- Library Week, Second Week of April: Most book lovers couldn’t do without the services of their local library. This week is a chance to celebrate all that libraries do and all that can be learned from the materials they hold. Created by the American Library Association, National Library Week is the perfect time to pay a visit to your library, check out books and hear what others have to say about the value of libraries.
- Limerick Day, May 12th: English writer Edward Lear helped to make the Limerick, a five line, rhyming poem, popular. This holiday commemorates the often silly or bawdy type of verse he held dear. You can celebrate by creating your own limericks or reading those of others.