April 23rd

Shakespeare Day -

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Shakespeare Day is an enchanting commemoration of the life and achievements of the most esteemed playwright in history - William Shakespeare. Every year on the 23rd of April, which interestingly marks both his birth and demise, we cherish Shakespeare Day as a lovely occasion to immerse ourselves in the rich world of his tales, which range from dramatic tragedies and laugh-inducing comedies to remarkable historical accounts.

This special day allows us to not only pay tribute to this towering literary figure but also value and comprehend the deep influence his work has made in diverse fields like literature, drama, and far beyond.

History of Shakespeare Day

Shakespeare Day, observed annually on the 23rd of April, pays tribute to one of the greatest dramatists, poets, and actors in history - William Shakespeare. This date is believed to mark both his birth and demise.

Shakespeare’s birthdate remains undetermined due to the lack of birth certificates during his time. However, church records from the 16th century indicate that he was christened on April 26th, 1564. As it was customary for children to be baptized three days post their birth, his birthday is generally celebrated on April 23rd. Coincidentally, this is also the day he passed away in 1616.

The tradition of observing Shakespeare Day began in Shakespeare’s small hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon, nestled in England’s heart. Historical references point to 19th-century commemorations in the town to honor its famous son, typically involving grand parades and feastings on the 23rd of April. These local celebrations gradually gained traction and soon spread further afield.

In 1970, UNESCO, in an effort to promote the pleasures of reading, increase awareness about publishing rights, and pay tribute to authors worldwide, inaugurated April 23rd as World Book and Copyright Day. The associated significance of this date, as marking the passing of not only Shakespeare but also several other well-known authors, led to the choice of this particular day.

Today, Shakespeare Day is recognized and marked across the globe through a plethora of activities that include performances of his famed plays, readings of his poetry, and learning-focused proceedings. Although it isn’t proclaimed a public holiday, it is a day set aside to acknowledge and celebrate the profound influence William Shakespeare exerted on world literature and the English language.

Shakespeare Day Timeline

Birth of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is born in Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom.

Establishing Literary Career

Shakespeare started writing plays and establishing his reputation in London.

Stage Performances

Shakespeare's plays become increasingly popular, being performed on stages across London.

Publication of Sonnets

154 of Shakespeare's sonnets were first published.

Death of William Shakespeare

During his final years Shakespeare penned works like Two Noble Kinsmen. He dies on 23rd April, aged 52.

Publication of the First Folio

The First Folio of Shakespeare's plays was published, preserving 36 of his works.

Voted 'Man of the Millennium'

Shakespeare was voted the 'Man of the Millennium' in a poll conducted by BBC.

Current Shakespeare Day Celebration

Shakespeare Day is now globally recognized, celebrated with performances, readings, and festivals.

Ideas to Celebrate Shakespeare Day

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Host a Shakespeare Reading Party

Gather your friends and family for a session of reading some of Shakespeare's most renowned plays, poems, and sonnets. Dramatize the dialogues and add in props and costumes to make the session more fun.

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Visit the Shakespeare Globe Theatre

If distance and coronavirus restrictions allow, visit the Globe Theatre in London, a reconstruction of the original theatre where many of Shakespeare's plays were performed.

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Organize a Shakespearean Costume Party

Celebrate the day by dressing up as your favorite Shakespearean characters. You could even add a competition for the best costume to make it more exciting.

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Shakespeare Movie Night

Watch film adaptations of Shakespeare's plays. Some recommendations include 'Romeo + Juliet,' 'Much Ado About Nothing,' 'Macbeth,' and 'Hamlet.'

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Shakespeare Day School Festival

If you're a teacher, devote the day to learning about Shakespeare. You could prepare games, quizzes, role-plays, and other educational activities around Shakespeare and his works.

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Start a Shakespeare Book Club

Gather a group of friends who are interested in reading and start a book club dedicated to reading and discussing all of Shakespeare's works throughout the year.

7 Interesting Facts About Shakespeare


Shakespeare’s Unknown Birthdate

Shakespeare's exact birthdate is unknown. He was baptized on April 26, 1564, and it was a tradition to baptize babies three days after their birth. So, it's widely accepted that he was born on April 23, 1564.


Coined New Words

The English language owes a lot to Shakespeare. He introduced almost 3,000 words to English. Some of these words include 'assassination', 'addiction', 'generous' and 'lonely'.


Acted in his own Plays

Shakespeare was not only a playwright but also an actor. It's believed he performed many leading roles in his plays.


The 'Lost Years'

Very little is known about Shakespeare's life between 1585 and 1592. These years are referred to as his 'lost years'.


The Curse of Macbeth

The play Macbeth is considered cursed. It's believed that tragedy will befall anyone who utters the name 'Macbeth' in a theater.


The Second Most Quoted Writer

Shakespeare is the second most quoted writer in the English language—after the authors of the Bible.


Shakespeare's Missing Plays

It is believed that Shakespeare wrote several plays that have been lost over time. These plays include 'Love's Labour's Won', 'Cardenio', and possibly a third part of Henry VI.

Shakespeare Day FAQs

Next Shakespeare Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 April 23rd Sunday
2024 April 23rd Tuesday
2025 April 23rd Wednesday
2026 April 23rd Thursday
2027 April 23rd Friday
What is the pattern? Every April 23rd

Shakespeare Day Word Search

  • Shakespeare
  • Sonnet
  • Hamlet
  • Comedy
  • Tragedy
  • Othello