World Storytelling Day

Since people have been gathering around campfires for thousands of years, it is about time there was a World Storytelling Day. On March 20, there is a call to action for all – vocal storytelling. So, whatever your favorite genre, be it a tragedy, thriller, or children-friendly tale, celebrate with a story.

Origins of World Storytelling Day

This can be traced back to 1991 in Sweden when the first dedicated day was held, but now it is a worldwide event. In 1991, it was celebrated at the same time as the March Equinox.

The history of storytelling goes way back, though; it is part of how we communicate, remember information, and inform others. Before mobile phones, and even predating the written word, we only had oral communication. Storytellers have always been entertainers, celebrated, and often teachers, even considered the lifeblood of society in some areas.

Throughout time, these stories have been inscribed on cave walls to be remembered. Storytelling has adapted over time; even the phrase “once upon a time” has different origins, thought to originate around 1380 and common in fairy tales.

It took until 1997 for World Storytelling Day to reach Australia, and by the early 2000s, South America became involved. By 2009, all six continents acknowledged World Storytelling Day in some form, so the day spread fast. There are many forms of storytelling, with marketing being one of the most prominent in modern times. Stories sell when they are memorable.

How To Observe World Storytelling Day

It all starts with a story. Read one aloud to the family, make a fire, gather around, toast some marshmallows, and choose a favorite tale to tell. Practice your storytelling skills because it is all about the delivery, those pauses of suspense, the quickening of the pace to increase excitement, the epic ending. There is nothing wrong with going all-in – use costumes, or make it a little like World Book Day where dressing up is actually essential.

For many people, this is a chance to make up your own stories and see what comes out. Get the family involved, alternate, choose a line each, or get the kids to finish the end of each sentence. Try anything to make it as fun as possible.

Also, check online for events in your area. If your local library is in the know, it may well have something planned to celebrate World Storytelling Day. You never know, an author may even be available to read a section of their book at the library.

Sometimes it is not so easy to get to events. In this case, try YouTube for watching and listening to other people read books, or even an audiobook is a good idea; it is a day of storytelling after all. As usual, using social media can be a fun way of finding out what is going on around the world. People celebrate World Storytelling Day in different ways. This can inspire new ways to make this story-filled day even more fun.

When is it?
This year (2024)
March 20 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
March 20 Thursday
Last year (2023)
March 20 Monday
Food & Drinks