Teacher’s Day: When and How do different Countries across the globe celebrate the auspicious day

“True teachers are those who help us think for ourselves.” One of the simplest yet elegant success quotes for students, by our former President and a great teacher, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan reads. With teacher’s day just around the corner, the whole nation is ready to celebrate the auspicious day honoring all the wonderful teachers who dedicate themself towards building our future. Dr. Radhakrishnan’s birthday is celebrated as Teacher’s Day in our country. It is said that when Dr. Radhakrishnan became the second president of India in 1962, he was approached by his students seeking permission to celebrate his birthday as a special day. Dr. Radhakrishnan however wished for the day to be observed as Teacher’s Day, in recognition of all the teachers and their contribution to society. That’s the story behind the celebration of National Teacher’s Day in India. But, did you know that many other countries celebrate teacher’s day each year on different days? For instance, International Teacher’s Day is celebrated on 5th October each year. It is celebrated in memory of the “Teaching is Freedom” pact which was signed at an international conference convened in Paris on 5th October 1966. Here are a few notable countries apart from India, which celebrate teacher’s day in recognition of their educators….

United States of America-

In the USA, teacher’s day is celebrated on the Tuesday of the first full week of May. It is regarded as a non-official holiday in the country and is celebrated with utmost gusto. The celebrations sometimes continue through the week. The entire week is regarded as the Teacher’s Appreciation Week. The origin of teacher’s day in the USA dates back to 1944 when a teacher by the name Mattye Whyte Woodridge came up with the idea to dedicate a day in the honor of teachers. He went on to promote his idea amongst educationalists and leaders. It is said that he even wrote a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt to consider his idea. Though it still had to be a long way before the proposal would have been accepted, this is how Teacher’s Day originated in the United States. 


In China, the teacher’s day is a national holiday on 10th September. This day was given the status of national teacher’s day on 21st January 1985. This is the day when the most populous country on the face of earth commemorates the contribution of its teachers to the society. Teacher’s day holiday has been celebrated in China since the Middle ages, although the dates and interpretations have varied in different times. One reason why teachers are given so much respect in China is that teachers are regarded as mentors who develop a lifelong bond with their students. 


The former Soviet State celebrates its teacher’s day on October 5 each year, to coincide with the world teacher’s day declared by UNESCO. Even though teacher’s day in Russia was celebrated years before the establishment of international teacher’s day, it originally was celebrated on the first Sunday of October from the year 1965 to 1994, when it was shifted to correspond with the international teacher’s day. 


Malaysia celebrates its annual teacher’s day each year on 16th May. It is not an official holiday; however, celebrations are carried out in schools across the nation. In case, 16th May falls on a weekend, the celebrations are held on the last working day prior to 16th May. It is held in remembrance of the approval of the Razak Report, which was a proposal to introduce reforms in the education system of Malaysia. 


The country well-known for its intellectual might and technical prowess established teacher’s day as a national holiday, only as recently as 2013. In Israel, the teacher’s day is celebrated on the 23rd of Kislev (It is a month in the Jewish calendar usually corresponding to parts of November and December). It was established to highlight the contribution and public appreciation of educators. 

Many different countries celebrate teacher’s day in many different ways. Many students today, regard the internet, teacher app, and online teaching platforms as their teachers and consequently honor them on teacher’s day. Teachers are the architects of a nation and they truly deserve the wide acclaim and honor that teacher’s day instills in each one of us towards them.

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