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.

Zamenhof's 150th birth 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 his home town of Białystok, Poland opened a new Zamenhof Center,[6] and a symposium honoring Zamenhof was held in New York City featuring talks by Arika Okrent and Humphrey Tonkin among other professors.[7]

Also on this date, the search engine Google, in 33 national language versions (but not the international English one), bore a special version of their logo (a Doodle) emblazoned with the Esperanto flag in honor of the occasion,[8][9] which generated, on the 30 biggest Wikipedia languages, 1.750.000 pageviews on the articles "LL Zamenhof".[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Limako (15 December 2009). "Esperanto Day at Google". Esperanto-USA.org. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Birth certificate of Ludwik Zamenhof Archived 2012-02-29 at the Wayback Machine., 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 Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine. at Yahoo Groups Japan
  6. ^ Limako (12 December 2009). "Esperanto Today". Esperanto-USA.org. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  7. ^ Zamenhof Symposium
  8. ^ Zamenhof Honored by Google, Huliq.com. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
  9. ^ Google festas la Zamenhof-Tagon, Libera Folio Archived 2016-03-06 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 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.