Teachers' Day

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In many countries, Teachers' Day is a special day for the appreciation of teachers, and may include celebrations to honour 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 [1]

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,[2] while India has celebrated the birthdate of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (5 September) since 1962[3]). This is the primary reason why countries celebrate this day on different dates, unlike many other International Days.

By country[edit]

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
Algeria 28 February
Argentina 11 September [4]
Armenia 5 October Armenia previously celebrated the 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.[5]
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 Halloween is on a Friday, they have to be scheduled to 7 November.
Azerbaijan 5 October Between 1965 and 1994, the first Sunday of October. Since 1994, on 5 October, it has coincided with the World Teachers' Day (est. 1994 by UNESCO).
Bangladesh 5 October
Belarus First Sunday of October
Brunei Darussalam 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 others had 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 now been followed by the current 29th ruler who has since extended the policy further.
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.
Bolivia 6 June
Brazil 15 October A decree regulating the 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.[6]
Cameroon 5 October Teachers in Cameroon on Tuesday, 5 October 2010, joined the rest of their peers worldwide to celebrate the 17th edition of the World Teachers Day. Placed under 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 that began on 29 September with educative talks at the Lycée Général Leclerc had round off on Tuesday at the Wada multi-purpose sports complex.
Canada 5 October
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).[7]
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.[citation needed]

The government first proclaimed Teachers' Day in 1985, but has never clearly explained why it should fall on 10 September. 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.[8]

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
Czech Republic 28 March The birthday of John Amos Comenius. Czech students nominate the teachers whose approach most motivates and inspires them to the competition Zlatý Ámos (Golden Amos). The coronation of "Golden Amos" take place yearly on 28 March.[9][10]
Ecuador 13 April Celebrated on this date in honour of Juan Montalvo, an Ecuadorian teacher who planted the seeds of development in young minds.
Egypt 28 February
El Salvador 22 June Observed as a national holiday.[11][12]
Estonia 5 October In Estonia last class students grant leave to teachers by conducting lessons themselves.
Germany 5 October
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 Maria 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.[citation needed]
Iran 2 May The Islamic Republic government changed the former date to coincide with the killing of Dr Morteza Motahhari on 2 May 1979.
Israel 23 Kislev
Iraq October 1
Jamaica 6 May Teachers' Day is normally celebrated on May 6 or the first Wednesday in May.[13] In celebration of Teachers' Day, it is common for students and parents to bring teachers gifts. Most schools close early.
Jordan 28 February
Laos 7 October
Latvia The first Sunday of October.[14] In fact, within schools, Teacher's day is celebrated on 1st Friday of October. Usually, part of classes that date are canceled or conducted by elder grade pupil, while teachers are greeted.
Lebanon 9 March Between 3–9 March
Libya 28 February
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).
Macedonia 5 October
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, among them children and students will give parcels and gifts to teachers.
Mauritius 5 October
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 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.[15]
Republic of Moldova 5 October
Mongolia First weekend of October
Morocco 28 February
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".
Netherlands 5 October[16]
New Zealand 29 October In 2010 teachers were encouraged to march against recent cuts in government funding by marching in Auckland on Sunday 31st.
Oman 28 February
Pakistan 5 October It recognizes the importance of teachers and attributes progress to the quality of teachers in Pakistan's Educational System.
Panama 1 December To commemorate the birth date of Manuel José Hurtado, who is known as the father of Panamanian education due to 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.[17]
Paraguay 30 April
Peru 6 July During the independence of Peru, libertador don José de San Martín founded the first Normal School for Men by means of a resolution passed by Marquis of Torre-Tagle on 6 July 1822.

Many years later, on 1953, the then president Manuel A. Odría decided that Teachers' Day would be commemorated every 6 July.[18]

Philippines 5 October By virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 242, s. 2011,[19] the National Teacher's Month is celebrated starting September 5 until 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 is actually 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.[20]
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.
Kuwait 5 October
Qatar 5 October
Romania 5 June
Russia 5 October Between 1965 and 1994, the first Sunday of October. Since 1994, the 5 October coincides with the World Teachers' Day (est. 1994 by UNESCO).
Saint Lucia 4th October-11th 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
Serbia 5 October
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.
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. At start its date was May 26. But from 1965, the date has changed to 15 May, dated after Sejong the Great's birthday.[21] The national celebration ceremony was stopped between 1973-82, but it resumed after that. On the day, teachers are usually presented with carnations by their students. Ex-students pay their respects to their former teachers by visiting them and giving them a carnation. 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.[citation needed]
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.[citation needed]
Sri Lanka 6 October Officially the Teachers' Day is celebrated in Sri Lanka on 6 October, every school celebrates the special day.
Spain 29 January
Syria 18 March[22]
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.[citation needed]

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: cow, goat and pig are sacrificed. 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.[citation needed]

Thailand 16 January Adopted as Teachers' Day in Thailand 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.[citation needed]
Tunisia 28 February
Turkey 24 November Mustafa Kemal Atatürk thought and stated that "The new generation will be created by teachers." . Atatürk was also considered as the Prime Teacher (Turkish: Başöğretmen), because he adopted a new alphabet for the newly founded Turkish Republic in 1923.[citation needed]
Ukraine The first Sunday of October At schools across the country, Teacher's Day is celebrated the Friday before the holiday with "concerts" and gatherings, while students usually give their teachers gifts such as flowers and chocolate.[citation needed]
United Arab Emirates 28 February
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 writing thank you cards. The National Education Association describes National Teacher Day as "a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives".[23]

The NEA gives a history of National Teacher Day:[23] 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 as 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.[citation needed]

Uzbekistan 1 October
Vietnam 20 November This holiday allows students to express their respect to their teacher. Students begin preparing a week in advance, and many classes usually 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.[citation needed]
Venezuela 15 January On this day there are no classes and during the week all the teachers are honoured for their support in building the country.[citation needed]
Yemen 28 February

20 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 and the UK.[citation needed]

11 countries celebrate a common Teachers' Day on 28 February: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, UAE and Oman.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Teachers%27_Day. Retrieved 5 October 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Historia". Jardindeinfantesdfs.com.ar. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Teachers day, Teachers Day in India". Indianchild.com. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Happy Teachers Day in Argentina, globalteacherprize.org; accessed 11 September 2015.
  5. ^ "October 4 World Teacher's Day". Armenian News. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Анонимен (29 September 2006). "5 октомври е определен за Ден на учителя". Education.actualno.com. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Días Nacionales en Chile" (in Spanish). 19 September 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "China mulls changing Teachers' Day to birthday of Confucius". Xinhua News Agency. 6 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Zlatý Ámos — anketa o nejoblíbenějšího učitele České republiky" (in Czech). Zlatý Ámos. Retrieved 23 November 2008. 
  10. ^ "Mezinárodní den učitelů a Zlatý Ámos" (in Czech). adam.cz. 4 October 2006. Retrieved 23 November 2008. 
  11. ^ "Nueva Alejandría — Secciones — Maestros Americanos — El Salvador". Retrieved 22 June 2008. 
  12. ^ "TEACHER APPRECIATION: teacher appreciation poem — Teachers Day — El Salvador". Retrieved 22 June 2008. 
  13. ^ "Gleaner gives teachers a break!". Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  14. ^ Par svētku, atceres un atzīmējamām dienām: LR likums, Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, Nr. 42, 1990. 18. oktobris, 2. pants. Available at: http://likumi.lv/doc.php?id=72608
  15. ^ Luis Tinajero Portes (1 January 1994). Días conmemorativos en la historia de México (in Spanish). UASLP. p. 90. ISBN 978-968-6194-65-4. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Welkom - Dag van de leraar" (in Dutch). Dagvandeleraar.nl. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "Biografía de Manuel José Hurtado - Educa Panamá, Mi Portal Educativo" (in Spanish). Educapanama.edu.pa. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  18. ^ Portal Educativo del Perú - Día del Maestro, huascaran.edu.pe; accessed 5 September 2015. (Spanish)
  19. ^ GOV.PH: National Teachers' Month
  20. ^ Birthday of Confucius (551-479 B.C.E.) (Perpetual Multicultural Calendar Software), calendarmine.coml; accessed 5 September 2015.
  21. ^ 스승의날: 지식백과 (in Korean). terms.naver.com. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  22. ^ "President pays tribute on Teachers' Day". english.cntv.com. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  23. ^ a b "National Teacher Day". NEA.org. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 

External links[edit]