Zamenhof Day

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Zamenhof Day
Official name Zamenhofa Tago (Esperanto)
Also called Esperanto Literature Day,
Esperanto Day,
Zamenhof's Birthday
Observed by International Esperanto community
Type Cultural holiday
Date 15 December
Next time 15 December 2017 (2017-12-15)
Frequency annual

Zamenhof Day (Esperanto: Zamenhofa Tago), also called Esperanto Day,[1] is celebrated on 15 December, the birthday of Esperanto creator L. L. Zamenhof.[2] It is the most widely celebrated day in Esperanto culture.[3]

The history of celebrating Esperanto on Zamenhof's birthday can be traced back to 17 December 1878, when at a birthday party for his 19th birthday he presented to his friends his Lingwe uniwersala, the first version of his international language.[4][5] By 1887, this language had evolved into what is now recognized as Esperanto when he published the Unua Libro.

Today, many Esperanto speakers buy an extra Esperanto book around this time of year. There are also special Esperanto gatherings and parties throughout the world to celebrate the occasion, which is used as a reason for Esperantists to get together during the holiday season.

Some Esperanto speakers, not wanting to over-celebrate the achievements of a single man, have suggested celebrating 15 December as Esperanto Literature Day instead. Thus they encourage Esperanto organizations that hold gatherings on that day to add a book review or poetry reading to the program or to announce the publication of a new book. On an individual level, one can buy or start reading a new book or in some other way celebrate Esperanto literature.

150th anniversary[edit]

15 December 2009 marked 150 years since Zamenhof's birth, and there were several events to celebrate. On this date, the authorities in Białystok opened a new Zamenhof Center,[6] and a symposium, honoring Zamenhof was held in New York featuring talks by Arika Okrent, Humphrey Tonkin among other professors.[7] The search engine Google bore a special logo (a Doodle) emblazoned with the Esperanto flag in honor of the occasion,[8][9] which resulted in about 2 million people clicking it to read a Wikipedia article on Zamenhof or Esperanto.[10]


  1. ^ Limako (15 December 2009). "Esperanto Day at Google". Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Birth certificate of Ludwik Zamenhof, dated 15 December 1859, Archives of Poland, Post-Partition Era (19th century)
  3. ^ Pri la 145-a Zamenhofa tago at China Radio International
  4. ^ Boulton, Marjorie. Zamenhof, Aǔtoro de Esperanto. La Laguna : J. Régulo, 1962.
  5. ^ Discussion on the exact date of that birthday party may be found at Message Board[dead link] at Yahoo Groups Japan
  6. ^ Limako (12 December 2009). "Esperanto Today". Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  7. ^ Zamenhof Symposium
  8. ^ LL Zamenhof Honored by Google,, accessed 15 December 2009.
  9. ^ Google festas la Zamenhof-Tagon, Libera Folio, accessed 15 December 2009.
  10. ^ Blahuš, Marek. "Google: Reklami Esperanton... sen esperantistoj" Archived May 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., La Ondo de Esperanto, 2010, n-ro 2 (184), p.8.