WORLD STORYTELLING DAY
Every year on March 20th, World Storytelling Day celebrates the art of oral storytelling. It’s also a day for people around the globe to listen and tell stories in as many languages as possible.
Many of us go throughout the day engaging in oral storytelling without even realizing it. Have you ever made up a bedtime story for your children? Have you ever told a friend about your most embarrassing moment? What about recounting a childhood memory with a sibling? These are all examples of oral storytelling.
Oral storytelling is about illuminating experiences for an audience. This audience could be anyone, including your kids or spouse. Professional storytellers also tell stories to whole groups of people. When telling a story, most people use gestures, facial expressions, and different tones of voice.
There are many good things about oral storytelling. Besides creating a bonding environment, oral storytelling provides rich opportunities to reminisce and helps to connect our past to our present. Oral storytelling also fosters creativity and encourages visualization.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldStorytellingDay
Many schools, libraries, and other organizations hold storytelling events on this day. The best way for you to observe this day is to simply tell someone a story. If you know stories in other languages, tell those as well. You could also look for videos online of your favorite story told in a different language. Another way to participate is to sit with family or friends in a circle and take turn telling stories. The stories could be real or made up. Whatever you do, be sure to share this day on social media with #WorldStorytellingDay
WORLD STORYTELLING DAY HISTORY
World Storytelling Day started out as a national day for storytelling in Sweden around 1991. The day was called “Alla berättares dag,” which translates to All Storytellers Day. In 1997, storytellers in Australia coordinated a five-week long celebration of story. The day became known as the International Day of Oral Narrators. Around this time, Mexico and other Latin American countries were celebrating their own National Day of Storytellers. In 2002, Scandinavians created their own storytelling web-network called Ratatosk. The new network helped the national day for storytelling spread from Sweden to Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Estonia. In 2003, the idea continued to spread to other countries including Canada. The event became known as World Storytelling Day. Today, storytelling events occur on every continent except Antarctica.
Recent themes include:
2019: Myths, Legends, and Epics
2018: Wise Fools
2016: Strong Women
2020 March 20
2021 March 20
2022 March 20
2023 March 20
2024 March 19
2025 March 20
2026 March 20
2027 March 20
2028 March 19
2029 March 20
2030 March 20
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