Home > Calendar > Holidays > International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day

Quick Facts

The United Nations' (UN) International Literacy Day is held on September 8 each year.

Local names

NameLanguage
International Literacy DayEnglish
Día Internacional de la AlfabetizaciónSpanish
יום האוריינות בינלאומיHebrew
اليوم العالمي للتحصيلArabic
국제 문해의 날Korean
WeltbildungstagGerman

International Literacy Day 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

International Literacy Day 2015

Tuesday, September 8, 2015
List of dates for other years

The United Nations' (UN) International Literacy Day annually falls on September 8 to raise people's awareness of and concern for literacy issues in the world.

UN International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day highlights the importance of literacy in areas such as health and education.

©iStockphoto.com/Emrah Turudu

What do people do?

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and its partners promote the day to underline the significance of literacy for healthy societies, with a strong emphasis on epidemics and communicable diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

In countries all over the world, including the United States and the United Kingdom, the day raises people's awareness of and concern for literacy problems within their own communities. Activities such as letters to the editor in newspapers, as well as news reports about the concerns for low literacy levels, have occurred as a result of this increased awareness. Other activities include literacy day projects, particularly with regard to technology and literature, which are promoted by various organizations including reading associations.

Public Life

The UN's International Literacy Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

According to UNESCO, about 774 million adults lack the minimum literacy skills. One in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women. About 75 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out. However, literacy is also a cause for celebration on the day because there are nearly four billion literate people in the world.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed a 10-year period beginning on January 1, 2003, as the United Nations Literacy Decade. The assembly also welcomed the International Plan of Action for the Decade and decided for UNESCO to take a coordinating role in activities at an international level within the decade's framework. On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. This day was first celebrated on September 8, 1966.

Symbols

UNESCO’s banners for the event feature the words “Literacy is the best remedy”. These banners have been produced in English, French, and Spanish. UNESCO’s logo features a drawing of a temple with the “UNESCO” acronym under the roof of the temple and on top of the temple’s foundation. Underneath the temple are the words “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”. This logo is often used in promotional material for International Literacy Day.

External links

UNESCO Literacy Portal: International Literacy Day (8 September)

International Literacy Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SatSep 81990International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
SunSep 81991International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
TueSep 81992International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
WedSep 81993International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 81994International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
FriSep 81995International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
SunSep 81996International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
MonSep 81997International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
TueSep 81998International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
WedSep 81999International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
FriSep 82000International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
SatSep 82001International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
SunSep 82002International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
MonSep 82003International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
WedSep 82004International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 82005International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
FriSep 82006International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
SatSep 82007International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
MonSep 82008International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
TueSep 82009International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
WedSep 82010International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 82011International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
SatSep 82012International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
SunSep 82013International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
MonSep 82014International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
TueSep 82015International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuSep 82016International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
FriSep 82017International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
SatSep 82018International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
SunSep 82019International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
TueSep 82020International Literacy DayUnited Nations observance 
Advertising

Other calendars

Related links