In many countries, Teachers' Days are intended to be special days for the appreciation of teachers, and may include celebrations to honor 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 are distinct from World Teachers' Day which is officially celebrated across the world on Oct 5.
The idea of celebrating Teachers' Day took ground independently in many countries during the 20th century; in most cases, they celebrate a local educator or an important milestone in education (for example, Argentina commemorates Domingo Faustino Sarmiento's death on September 11 since 1915, while India celebrates Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan's birthday on September 5 since 1962). This is the primary reason why countries celebrate this day on different dates, unlike many other International Days.
|Country||Date of Teachers' Day||Notes|
|Afghanistan||Oct 15||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||March 7||In 1887, the first secular school which taught lessons in Albanian was opened on this day in the small city of Korçë. All schools had previously functioned under the supervision of the Catholic Church in northern and middle Albania; the Orthodox Church in the south did not allow any Albanian schools.|
|Argentina||September 11||To honor the memory & work of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, who died on this date in 1888, in Asuncion, Paraguay.|
|Armenia||First Sunday in October|
|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 vital contribution that teachers make to education.|
|Azerbaijan||October 5||Between 1965 and 1994, the first Sunday of October. Since 1994, on October 5, it has coincided with the World Teachers' Day (est. 1994 by UNESCO).|
|Belarus||First Sunday of October|
|Brunei Darussalam||September 23||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||May 2||Established and marked on the birth anniversary of the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who introduced modern education to the country.|
|Brazil||October 15||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||October 5||On 29.09.2006, October 5 was recognised as Teacher's Day by the government.|
|Chile||October 16||In 1967, September 11 was chosen 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 October 16, to honor the founding of the Colegio de Profesores de Chile (Teachers' Association of Chile).|
|Colombia||May 15||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.|
|China||September 10||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 middle schools and high schools to give presents to their old teachers.|
|Czech Republic||March 28||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 March 28.|
|Ecuador||April 13||Celebrated on this date in honour of Juan Montalvo, an Ecuadorian teacher who planted the seeds of development in young minds.|
|El Salvador||June 22||Observed as a national holiday.|
|Greece||January 30||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||June 25||A celebration in honour of the teacher Maria Chinchilla who died during a violent riot in protest against the government.|
|Hong Kong||September 10||Before the 1997, Teachers' Day was on September 28. After the handover to the People's Republic of China, the day was changed to September 10, which is when the PRC celebrates the holiday.|
|Hungary||First Sunday of June|
|India||September 5||The birthdate, [5 September 1888], of the second President of India, academic philosopher Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. It is considered a "celebration" day, where teachers and students report to school as usual but the usual activities and classes are replaced by activities of celebration, thanks and remembrance. At some schools on this day, the responsibility of teaching is taken up by the senior students to show appreciation for their teachers.|
Another day set aside for commemorating teachers in India and Nepal is Guru Purnima, also called 'Ashad sukla purnima'. It typically falls in mid-July.
|Indonesia||November 25||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 school staff.|
|Iran||May 2||Commemorating the martyrdom of Abulhassan Khan'ali, a teacher who was shot dead in a meeting in front of National Parliament during the Mohammad Rezā Shāh era on May 2, 1961. Later the Islamic Republic government changed it to commemorate the martyrdom of Dr. Morteza Motahhari on May 2, 1979.|
|Jamaica||May 6||Teachers' Day is normally celebrated on May 6 or the first Wednesday in May. In celebration of Teachers' Day, it is common for students and parents to bring teachers gifts. In addition, most schools are closed early (half-day).|
|Lithuania||October 5||Between 1965 and 1994, the first Sunday of October. Since 1994, on October 5, to coincide with the World Teachers' Day (est. 1994 by UNESCO).|
|Lebanon||March 9||Between March 3 and March 9.|
|Malaysia||May 16||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 May 16, or earlier, if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday.|
|Republic of Moldova||October 5|
|Mongolia||First weekend of February|
|Nepal||Full moon day of nepali month Ashad||The full moon day is also called 'Ashad sukla purnima' and the day usually falls in mid-July. Teacher's day is called "Guru Purnima" in Nepali.|
Students pay homage to the teachers, offer them foods and flowers and receive blessings from the teacher. "Guru devo bhava:" a Sanskrit phrase meaning "Teacher is God" is still widely accepted. Teachers are given the highest degree of respect.
|New Zealand||October 29||In 2010 teachers were encouraged to march against recent cuts in government funding by marching in Auckland on Sunday 31st.|
|Pakistan||October 5||It recognizes the importance of teachers and attributes progress to the quality of teachers in Pakistan's Educational System.|
|Panama||December 1||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.|
|Peru||July 6||During the independence of Peru, libertadordon José de San Martín founded the first Normal School for Men by means of a resolution passed by Marquis of Torre-Tagleon July 6, 1822.|
|Philippines||October 5||By Presidential Proclamation No. 479  to honour more than 500,000 teachers nationwide. However, in the Philippines 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 September 27, while September 28, considered as the actual Teachers' Day, is a school holiday where both teachers and students are allowed to rest. September 28 was chosen because it is known as the birthdate of famous Chinese philosopher Confucius.
|Poland||October 14||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|
|Russia||October 5||Between 1965 and 1994, the first Sunday of October. Since 1994, on October 5, coincides with the World Teachers' Day (est. 1994 by UNESCO).|
|Saudi Arabia||February 28|
|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||March 28||Commemorates the birthdate of John Amos Comenius.|
|South Korea||May 15 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. The national celebration ceremony was stopped between 1973 and 1982 but it resumed after that. On the day, teachers are usually presented with carnations by their students, and both enjoy a shorter school day. 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.|
|Sri Lanka||October 6|
|Syria||March 18|
|Taiwan||September 28||Taiwan uses this day to honor teachers' virtues, struggles, and contributions not only to their own students but also 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 August 27, the attributed birthday ofConfucius.|
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—the cow, the goat, and the 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.
|Thailand||January 16||Adopted as Teachers' Day in Thailand by a resolution of the government on November 21, 1956. The first Teachers' Day was held in 1957. 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 honor their teaching staff. There are very few public or official commemorations.|
|Turkey||November 24||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.|
|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. On the holiday itself, many teachers celebrate with their families and friends at home or at restaurants or cafes.|
|United Arab Emirates||February 28|
|United States||National Teacher Day is on Tuesday during Teacher Appreciation Week, which takes place in the first full week of May (May 8, 2012)||Students often show appreciation for their teachers with gifts. The National Education Association describes National Teacher Day as "a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives".|
The NEA gives a history of National Teacher Day: The origins of Teacher Day are murky. Around 1944 Wisconsin teacher 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 (Kan. ) local lobbied Congress to create a national day celebrating teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day for that year only. 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.
|Vietnam||November 20||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.|
|Venezuela||January 15||On this day there are no classes and during the week all the teachers are honoured for their support in building the country.|
You may note that 11 countries celebrate a common Teachers' Day on February 28: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, UAE, and Oman.
In Canada, World Teachers' Day is celebrated in the country on Oct. 5.
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