WORLD TEMPERANCE DAY
Every year on October 3, World Temperance Day encourages people to give up alcohol. It’s also a day to learn about the history of temperance movements around the world.
Fermented beverages and alcoholic drinks date back thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians and Chinese were some of the first to consume alcohol. In 2700 B.C. the Babylonians were known to worship a wine goddess. An alcoholic drink called mead was very popular in Greece. The Bible also mentions the drinking of wine. In fact, turning water into wine was the second recorded miracle performed by Jesus.
As you can see alcohol has been a part of society and culture for thousands of years. However, not everyone has looked at alcohol in a positive way. Greek literature is full of warnings about excessive alcohol consumption. During the 19th century, the temperance movement helped to promote the moderate use of alcohol. Some people wanted to ban it all together. Those in the temperance movements believed alcohol to be responsible for many of society’s ills. This era was also known as Prohibition.
Temperance movements were especially popular in English-speaking countries. They were also common amongst Scandinavians. Most of these movements were led by the religious leaders of the day. Some of the temperance organizations that formed during Prohibition include:
- Anti-Saloon League
- Gospel Temperance Union
- People’s Democratic Temperance League
- British Women’s Temperance Association (now called White Ribbon)
- Women’s Christian Temperance Union
- World League Against Alcoholism
Some of these temperance organizations were successful as they persuaded governments around the world to ban the sale of alcohol. However, this caused other problems as people illegally made their own. Eventually, the ban on alcohol failed in many countries. There are some countries, however where alcohol is still banned. These countries include Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Bangladesh, and some states in India.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldTemperanceDay
Many people abstain from alcohol on this day. It’s also a day to think about how alcohol has a negative effect on society. Many liquor stores close on this day.
- Learn more about the Temperance Movement in the United States and other countries.
- Look up countries that still ban the use of alcohol and why they do.
- Watch the Ken Burns documentary, “Prohibition.”
- Read about important women in the Temperance Movement, such as Susan B. Anthony, Carry Nation, and Martha McClellan Brown.
Spread awareness for this day on social media with #WorldTemperanceDay
WORLD TEMPERANCE DAY HISTORY
The origins of this day began between 1890 and 1900. This is when the Buddhist Temperance Movement began. The day is widely observed in Sri Lanka, as well as a handful of other countries around the world.