March 19 – World Storytelling Day

Posted on March 19, 2020

(On March Equinox)

Spring comes early this year! And that's no matter what the local weather is telling you - and certainly no matter what a certain groundhog announced way back in February! Because the beginning of spring, in modern worldwide society, is defined by the equinox - that is, the 24-hour period when the length of the day equals the length of the night.

This equinox phenomenon happens twice a year, in March and in September. In the Northern Hemisphere, where about 88% of the world's population lives, the March equinox is the vernal or spring equinox, and the September equinox is the autumnal or fall equinox.

The March equinox ranges from March 19 to 21, and the September equinox ranges from September 21 to 23. 

Of course, you probably realize that the whole world doesn't have the same time zone, and that means that they don't always share the same date. Nations very near the International Date Line, like Vanuatu, will have their equinox on a different date than the United States and European nations - for example, this year Vanuatu's March equinox occurs tomorrow, on March 20.

At ANY rate, whenever the March Equinox occurs for you, you also get to celebrate World Storytelling Day. 

What is World Storytelling Day?

As many people as possible tell and listen to stories in as many languages and at as many places as possible today and tonight!

This yearly event has helped the public learn about storytelling as an art form. It's also helped storytellers all over the globe forge a connection with one another.

Many people think of storytelling as something that happens
in classrooms and around a campfire, but actually it can
happen in a library or bookstore, inside homes and hospitals
and every kind of building, and outside anywhere / everywhere!

World Storytelling Day got started as a national storytelling day in the early 1990s, in Sweden, although March 20 was already National Day of Storytellers in Mexico and some other Latin American countries. It soon spread to Western Australia, where storytellers organized a five-week Celebration of Story that culminated with the International Day of Oral Narrators. In the early 2000s the idea of holding a storytelling day spread throughout Scandinavia, then Canada and other European nations - and in 2003 the March equinox storytelling day became known as World Storytelling Day.

By 2009, World Storytelling Day events were held in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, and Australia.

There have been many WSD themes, including birds, the Moon, monsters and dragons, and wise fools. This year's theme is voyages.

Of course, storytelling is as old as humanity!
Before there was written language, even,
there was storytelling! And storytelling has been
important in every culture.

Look for storytelling events near you. Remember, local libraries and schools and bookstores may hold World Storytelling Day events on March 20 or on the weekend instead of today. Enjoy!

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