In many countries, Teachers' Day is a special day for the appreciation of teachers, and may include celebrations to honor them for their special contributions in a particular field area, or the community in general. The date on which Teachers' Day is celebrated varies from country to country. Teachers' days in different countries are distinct from World Teachers' Day, which is celebrated on 5 October.
The idea of celebrating Teachers' Day took root in many countries during the 20th century; in most cases, they celebrate a local educator or an important milestone in education (for example, Argentina has commemorated Domingo Faustino Sarmiento's death on 11 September since 1915, while India has celebrated the birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (5 September) since 1962). This is the primary reason why countries celebrate this day on different dates, unlike many other International Days.
|Country||Date of Teachers' Day||Notes|
|Afghanistan||October||Schools have a holiday, but students and teachers gather to celebrate at schools with special traditional food, cookies, music and presents for the teachers.|
|Albania||7 March||Celebrates the opening of the first school where lessons were taught in the Albanian language, on 7 March 1887.|
|Armenia||5 October||Armenia previously celebrated Teacher's Day on the first Sunday of October. Under a parliamentary decision[when?] to amend the law on the Republic of Armenia Holidays and Commemoration Days, the holiday was shifted to 5 October.|
|Australia||Last Friday in October||On Australia’s celebration of World Teachers’ Day, the NEiTA Foundation and the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) is proud to announce the national teaching recipients of the ASG Community Merit Awards. World Teachers’ Day was started by UNESCO and is celebrated in more than 100 countries around the world each year. On its 40th anniversary this year, it represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the contribution that teachers make to education. If it falls on 31 October, coinciding with Halloween, it is postponed a week, to 7 November.|
|Azerbaijan||5 October||Between 1965 and 1994, the first Sunday of October. Since 1994, on 5 October, it has coincided with World Teachers' Day (est. 1994 by UNESCO).|
|Belarus||First Sunday of October|
|Brunei||23 September||To commemorate the birth date of the 28th ruler of Brunei, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III, also known as the 'Architect of Modern Brunei', who amongst other things emphasized the importance of education to his subjects by introducing a policy of 'free' education whereby the citizens are charged very nominal fees for attending schools. This policy has been continued and extended by the current (29th) ruler.|
|Bhutan||2 May||Established and marked on the birth anniversary of the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who introduced modern education to the country.|
|Brazil||15 October||Established by a decree regulating elementary schools in Brazil. The celebration gained popularity throughout the country, and October 15 was officially designated Teachers' Day in 1963.|
|Bulgaria||5 October||On 29 September 2006, the date of 5 October was recognised as Teacher's Day by the government.|
|Cameroon||5 October||Teachers in Cameroon on Tuesday, 5 October 2010, joined their peers worldwide to celebrate the 17th World Teachers Day. With the theme "Nation building passes through teachers", the day served as an opportunity to pay homage to teachers who toil, sometimes under not-so-comfortable conditions, to build the capacities of human resources for the socio-economic development of the country. Commemorative activities in Yaounde began on 29 September with educative talks at the Lycée Général Leclerc, and were rounded off on World Teachers Day at the Wada multi-purpose sports complex.|
|Canada||5 October||On October 5, along with over 100 countries around the world, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation and its member organizations across the country celebrate World Teachers’ Day through a public awareness campaign that highlights the contributions of the teaching profession.|
|Chile||16 October||In 1967, 11 September was selected as "Día del Maestro" ("Teacher's Day"). The date was moved to December 10 in 1975, because on that day in 1945, the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral received the Nobel Prize. In 1977, the date was renamed to "Día del Profesor" (also "Teacher's Day") and was moved again, to 16 October, to honour the founding of the Colegio de Profesores de Chile (Teachers' Association of Chile).|
|China||10 September||In the People's Republic of China (PRC), there are some activities for students to show their appreciation to teachers, such as presenting gifts, including cards and flowers. In addition, many former students will go back to their old primary schools, middle schools and high schools to give presents to their old teachers.
The government first proclaimed Teachers' Day in 1985, but has never clearly explained why it should fall on 10 September. Some believe it is due to the similar pronunciation between the word "teacher" (教师 jiao shi) and the two digits 9 (九jiu), 10 (十shi) in the date. Some people believe it was an arbitrary choice and have proposed to change it to 28 September, believed to be the birthdate of Confucius. On 5 September 2013, the State Council announced a legislative draft endorsing the change. If adopted, it would effectively make mainland China and Taiwan share the same Teachers' Day beginning in 2014. Taiwan has observed 28 September as Teachers' Day since the 1950s.
|Colombia||15 May||This day marks the appointment of San Juan Bautista de la Salle as the patron of teachers. In 1950, Pope Pius XII granted his approval of La Salle as patron of teachers for championing the causes of modern education. The holy founder understood the education of children as the obligation of all. Usually the schools of his time (1651–1719) only accepted young people studying towards politics or diplomacy. Juan Bautista outlined the principles of free and universal education. That same year in Colombia, the President of the Republic declared that date as Teachers' Day.|
|Costa Rica||22 November||To commemorate the birth date of Mauro Fernández Acuña (11/22/1843). one of the greatest educators of the country|
|Cuba||22 December||On 22 December 1961, Cuba declared itself a Territory Free of Illiteracy (Territorio Libre de Analfabetismo) (see Cuban Literacy Campaign)|
|Czech Republic||28 March||The birthday of John Amos Comenius. Czech students nominate the teachers whose approach most motivates and inspires them to the Zlatý Ámos (Golden Amos) competition. The coronation of "Golden Amos" takes place yearly on 28 March.|
|Dominican Republic||30 June|
|Ecuador||13 April||Celebrated on this date in honour of Juan Montalvo, an Ecuadorian teacher who planted the seeds of development in young minds.|
|El Salvador||22 June||Observed as a national holiday.|
|Estonia||5 October||In Estonia last class students grant leave to teachers by conducting lessons themselves.|
|Greece||30 January||Derived from the Eastern Orthodox faith when the Three Holy Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers (Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom) are commemorated.|
|Guatemala||25 June||A celebration in honour of the teacher María Chinchilla who died during a violent riot in protest against the government.|
|Honduras||17 September||Celebration in honour of the life of José Trinidad Reyes|
|Hong Kong||10 September||Before the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, Teachers' Day was on 28 September. After the handover to the People's Republic of China, the day was changed to 10 September, which is when the PRC celebrates the holiday.|
|Hungary||First Sunday of June|
|India||5 September||The birth date (5 September 1888) of the second President of India, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, is celebrated, where teachers and students report to school as usual but the usual activities and classes are replaced by activities of celebration, thanks and remembrance. In some schools, on this day senior students take the responsibility of teaching in order to show their appreciation for the teachers.
Another day set aside for commemorating teachers in India and Nepal is Guru Purnima, also called 'Ashadh Shukla Pournima'. It typically falls in mid-July.
|Indonesia||25 November||National Teachers' Day is commemorated on the same day as the formation of the Indonesian Teachers' Association, the PGRI. National Teachers' Day is not a holiday, but it is celebrated by having a ceremonial activity in recognition of certain teachers, headmasters and other school staff.|
|Iran||2 May||The Islamic Republic government changed the former date to coincide with the assassination of Dr Morteza Motahhari on 1 May 1979.|
|Jamaica||6 May||Teachers' Day is normally celebrated on May 6 or the first Wednesday in May. In celebration of Teachers' Day, it is common for students and parents to bring teachers gifts. Most schools close early.|
|Latvia||The first Sunday of October||Teacher's Day is celebrated in schools on the 1st Friday of October. Usually, some classes that day are canceled or conducted by elder grade pupils, while teachers are greeted.|
|Lebanon||9 March||Between 3–9 March|
|Lithuania||5 October||Between 1965 and 1994, the first Sunday of October. Since 1994, on 5 October, to coincide with the World Teachers' Day (est. 1994 by UNESCO).|
|Malaysia||16 May||This date was chosen because on the same day in 1956, the Federal Legislative Council of the Federation of Malaya endorsed the Razak Report, one of four reports of the Education Committee regarding education in Malaysia. The document, known as the Razak Report after Tun Abdul Razak who was Education Minister at the time, has been the basis of education in Malaysia ever since. Although it is not an official school holiday, celebrations are usually held on 16 May, or earlier if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday.|
|Maldives||5 October||On 5 October, schools in the Maldives celebrate Teachers' Day with many activities. Children and students give parcels and gifts to teachers.|
|Mexico||15 May||On 15 May (known as "Día del Maestro") schools in Mexico are supposed to stop normal activities and organize cultural events that promote the importance and dignity of the teachers’ role in society. In reality some schools operate as usual and others take the day off. The first Teacher's Day was celebrated on 15 May 1918. The date of 15 May was proposed at the Mexican Congress on 27 September 1917, approved on 29 October 1917 and published on 5 December 1917. There are several possible origins for choosing this date. The first one mentions that in the city of San Luis Potosí every 15 May, a group of students gathered to celebrate the birthday of their old teacher Isidore, named after Saint Isidore the Laborer, following the Mexican tradition of naming children according to the Saint celebrated the day they were born. The second origin considers the celebration of a historic event in the city of Querétaro on 15 May 1867.|
|Republic of Moldova||5 October|
|Mongolia||First weekend of October|
|Myanmar (aka Burma)||16 January|
|Nepal||Full moon day of Ashad||The full moon day is also called Ashad sukla purnima; the date usually falls in mid-July. Teacher's Day is called "Guru Purnima" in Nepali, where "Guru" means teacher and "Purnima" means "Full Moon".|
|New Zealand||29 October|
|Panama||1 December||To commemorate the birth date of Manuel José Hurtado, who is known as the father of Panamanian education because of his promotion of modern universal education through the establishment of the first public schools and teachers' colleges in what is now known as Panama — then part of Colombia – aiming to break the vicious cycle of ignorance and poverty that afflicted the vast majority of the population. He went on to be named Director-General of Public Instruction of the State of the Isthmus.|
|Peru||6 July||During the independence of Peru, the Liberator José de San Martín founded the first Normal School for Men by means of a resolution passed by the Marquis of Torre-Tagle on 6 July 1822.|
|Philippines||5 October||By virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 242, s. 2011, the National Teacher's Month is celebrated starting September 5 through the World Teachers' Day celebration in October 5, making it the longest celebration to honor more than 500,000 teachers nationwide.
Before 2011, Teachers' Day was celebrated in schools between the months of September and October (mainly elementary and secondary levels). Teachers are presented with orchid corsages by students. Groups of students representing various grade levels perform short skits or song and dance numbers, or read poetry for their teachers in front of fellow schoolmates in school-wide activities. These activities are planned by senior students in the Student Council who coordinate the activities well in advance.
For Filipino-Chinese schools, a program is usually organized by students for teachers on 27 September while 28 September, considered as the actual Teachers' Day, is a school holiday where both teachers and students are allowed to rest. 28 September was selected as it is thought to be the birthdate of Confucius.
|Poland||14 October||This day is the anniversary of the creation of the Commission of National Education, created in 1773 through the initiative of King Stanisław August Poniatowski. Normally flowers and sweets will be given to teachers by kids. School play and activities can be also scheduled by student body.|
|Puerto Rico||20 May||In 2016, it was celebrated the 20th of May. But it is usually the Friday before Mother's Day (second Sunday of May).† And in some cases, it has been celebrated on the first Friday of May.|
|Russia||5 October||Between 1965 and 1994, the first Sunday of October, since 1994, 5 October, coinciding with World Teachers' Day (est. 1994 by UNESCO).|
|Saint Lucia||4 October – 11 October (Teachers' Week)||In 2015, Teachers' Week was celebrated under the theme "Empowering Teachers, building sustainable societies". Educational conferences, boat rides and church services are all part of the celebrations for teachers in Saint Lucia.|
|Saudi Arabia||28 February|
|Singapore||First Friday of September||An official school holiday. Celebrations are normally conducted the day before, where students usually get half a day off. In some schools, students will put on performances to entertain and honour their teachers.|
|Slovakia||28 March||Commemorates the birthdate of John Amos Comenius.|
|Somalia||21 November||Since 1974 Teachers' Day has been a public holiday celebrated in every school.|
|South Korea||15 May (since 1963) in Seoul and 1964 (in Chunju City)||Originally it was started by a group of Red Cross youth team members who visited their sick ex-teachers in hospitals. Originally its date was May 26. But since 1965, its date has been 15 May, Sejong the Great's birthday. The national celebration ceremony was stopped between 1973 and 1982, but it resumed after that. On the day, teachers are usually presented with carnations by their students and ex-students. Many schools now close on Teachers' Day because of the rampant bribery implicit in the expensive gifts often given to teachers. Schools can use the day to have an outing for the teachers.|
|South Sudan||1 December (2011–12); 1 October (2013–present)||The president of South Sudan proclaimed Teacher's Day for December 1, one month before the country's first Teacher's Day. On 1 September, one month before the country's third Teacher's Day, it was publicly announced that they changed the date to 1 October.|
|Sri Lanka||6 October||Officially Teachers' Day is celebrated every school on 6 October.|
|Taiwan||28 September||Taiwan uses this day to honor teachers' contributions to their own students and to society in general. People often make use of the day to express their gratitude to their teachers, such as paying them a visit or sending them a card. This date was chosen to commemorate the birth of Confucius, believed to be the model master educator in ancient China. In 1939, the Ministry of Education established the national holiday as 27 August, the attributed birthday of Confucius.
In 1952, the Executive Yuan changed it to September, stating that it was calculated to be the precise date in the Gregorian calendar. The festival celebration occurs in the temples of Confucius around the island, known as the "Grand Ceremony Dedicated to Confucius" (祭孔大典). The ceremony begins at 6am with drum beats. 54 musicians are dressed in robes with blue belts, and 36 (or 64) dancers dressed in yellow with green belts. They are led by Confucius's chief descendant (currently Kung Tsui-chang) and followed by ceremonial officers. Three animals are sacrificed: a cow, a goat, and a pig. The hairs plucked from these sacrificed animals are called the Hairs of Wisdom. In addition, local education institutes and civil offices award certain teachers for their excellence and positive influence.
|Thailand||16 January||Adopted as Teachers' Day by a resolution of the government on 21 November 1956. The first Teachers' Day was held in 1957. 16 January marks the enactment of the Teachers Act, Buddhist Era 2488 (1945), which was published in the Government Gazette on 16 January 1945, and came into force 60 days later. Most Thai schools close for the day to give their teachers a break during the long second term. Many international schools do not, although they may hold celebrations to honour their teaching staff. There are very few public or official commemorations.|
|Turkey||24 November||Mustafa Kemal Atatürk stated that "The new generation will be created by teachers" and as founding President adopted a new alphabet for the newly founded Turkish Republic in 1923. On November 24, 1928 Mustafa Kemal officially accepted the title of head teacher of the nation's schools, granted by the cabinet of ministers.|
|Ukraine||The first Sunday of October||At schools across the country, Teachers' Day is celebrated the Friday before the holiday with concerts and gatherings, while students usually give their teachers gifts such as flowers and chocolate.|
|United Arab Emirates||5 October.|
|United Kingdom||5 October|
|United States||National Teacher Day is on Tuesday during Teacher Appreciation Week, which takes place in the first full week of May.||Students often show appreciation for their teachers with gifts or thank-you cards. The National Education Association (NEA) describes National Teacher Day as "a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives".
The NEA gives a history of National Teacher Day: The origins of Teacher Day are murky. Around 1944, a Wisconsin teacher named Ryan Krug began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodbridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, who in 1953 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day. NEA along with its Kansas and Indiana state affiliates and the Dodge City, Kansas local NEA branch lobbied Congress to create a national day celebrating teachers. Congress declared 7 March 1980 as National Teacher Day for that year only. The NEA and its affiliates continued to observe Teacher Day on the first Tuesday in March until 1985, when the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week in the first full week of May. The NEA Representative Assembly then voted to make the Tuesday of that week National Teacher Day. As of 4 November 1976, 6 November was adopted as Teachers' Day in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Currently, Massachusetts sets the first Sunday of June as its own Teachers' Day annually.
|Vietnam||20 November||This holiday allows students to express their respect to their teacher. Students begin preparing a week in advance. Many classes prepare literature and art to welcome Teachers' Day, while other students prepare foods and flowers for the parties held at their schools. Students usually visit their teachers at their homes to offer flowers and small gifts, or organize trips with their teachers and classmates. Former students also pay respect to their former teachers on this day. The holiday has its origins in a meeting between educators in communist bloc nations in Warsaw in 1957. It was first celebrated in 1958 as the Day of the International Manifest of Educators; in 1982 the day was renamed Vietnamese Educators' Day.|
|Venezuela||15 January||On this day there are no classes. During the week all the teachers are honoured for their support in building the country.|
21 countries celebrate a common Teachers' Day on 5 October: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Macedonia, Maldives, Mauritius, Republic of Moldova, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Kuwait, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, the United Arab Emirates and the UK.
11 countries celebrate a common Teachers' Day on 28 February: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Sudan and Oman.
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