Roald Dahl Day

Roald Dahl Day is a holiday that celebrates the birthday of Roald Dahl—probably one of the greatest storytellers of all time. It is celebrated on September 13 every year. Mr. Dahl is known for writing a number of popular children’s books, which include “Matilda,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “The BFG,” and “James and the Giant Peach.” His books have been translated into 58 different languages and have sold well over 200 million copies worldwide.

Roald Dahl Biography

Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916, in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales, to Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Dahl. He attended Llandaff Cathedral School, and at the age of eight years old, he was severely caned by the headmaster after putting a dead mouse in a jar of gobstoppers at a local candy store. After that event, he transferred to St Peter’s boarding school. Later on, he would transfer to a private school known for its academic excellence, Repton. He graduated from Repton in 1932 and took a job with the Shell Oil Company, located in Tanzania, Africa, and stayed there until 1939.

His time in Africa didn’t provide him with enough adventure, so he joined the Royal Air Force in 1939. He was then trained in Nairobi, Kenya, and became a fighter pilot during World War II. During his service, he crash-landed in Alexandria, Egypt, and was left with multiple injuries to his hips, spine, and skull— injuries that required a lengthy recovery, two spinal surgeries, and a hip replacement. After he recovered, he was transferred to Washington, D.C. There, he worked as an assistant air attaché.

During his time in Washington, Roald Dahl met with C.S. Forrester. At the time, Mr. Forrester was writing propaganda for the Allied cause and was approached by the Saturday Evening Post to write a story based on Dahl’s flying experiences. Forrester then approached Dahl and asked him to write down some Royal Air Force anecdotes that he could use as a reference to write a story. Dahl did so and handed the article back to Forrester. Forrester was so impressed by what Dahl had written, he decided to publish the story exactly as it was written, and he encouraged Dahl to become a writer. He would do so in 1943 with the publication of his first children’s book, “The Gremlins.”

Over the years, he worked on a variety of projects, which included 19 novels, 13 collections, 12 screenplays, 9 non-fiction books, and 3 poems. Some of his most widely known works include “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Danny, The Champion of the World,” “The Magic Finger,” and “The Enormous Crocodile.”

Celebrating Roald Dahl Day

Roald Dahl Day can be celebrated in a number of different ways. You can read some of his books or maybe watch some of the movies for which he wrote the script, such as “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” or “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” You can also read one of his books of poetry: “Revolting Rhymes,” “Dirty Beasts,” or “Rhyme Stew.” If you feel charitable, you and your friends can get together and raise money for Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity—a charity that helps sick children in the U.K.

When is it?
This year (2024)
September 13 Friday
Next year (2025)
September 13 Saturday
Last year (2023)
September 13 Wednesday
Education & Reading