International Town Criers Day

Most people know town criers as those individuals often seen at Renaissance fairs and historical reenactments, shaking a bell and shouting, “Hear Ye! Hear Ye!” However, few people truly understand the role that town criers played in their communities or the history of this profession.

Fortunately, there is a holiday that attempts to educate people about this profession so they can celebrate it. What is the name of this fabled holiday? It’s International Town Criers Day, and it is observed annually on the second Monday of each year. So, let’s take a few moments to explore this ancient profession and the holiday that celebrates it.

The History of International Town Criers Day

The profession of town criers dates back to ancient Rome and Greece. These individuals were heralds who made public announcements for politicians and other officials. This job continued into the Middle Ages in Europe and was most commonly employed by local lords or other nobles to keep the people informed about the news and events of the day.

Up until and through the Renaissance Period, town criers were respected members of the community. They often wore elaborate clothing and carried maces or staffs as symbols of authority. They also carried bells or drums that they could use to gather crowds of people to them so they could make their announcements.

Some typical announcements made by town criers included the proclamation of a new monarch, a declaration of war, or a change in taxes. They were also used to announce public events such as weddings, fairs, and markets.

As newspapers, telegrams, and other forms of communication became more common, the role of town criers began to decline. However, that doesn’t mean they have become extinct. At least, not yet. Some communities and events still employ town criers to relay important information, which is probably why International Town Criers Day was created.

International Town Criers Day was established in 1994, possibly by the Honourable Guild of Town Criers in England. While it may have started as a British holiday, it has since been observed in other parts of the world, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States.

Observing International Town Criers Day

Obviously, celebrating town criers is one of the main activities people will want to engage in on this day. If people do not know any town criers, they can always take the time to thank some random ones on the internet using the hashtag #InternationalTownCriersDay.

This holiday is also a good day to learn more about the history of town criers or even role-play as one for the day.

When is it?
This year (2024)
July 8 Monday
Next year (2025)
July 14 Monday
Last year (2023)
July 10 Monday
Appreciation & Honor