Teacher’s Day in Nepal, Guru Purnima

On July 9, 2017 Guru Purnima festival (Teacher’s Day) is being celebrated in Nepal to honour all teachers. The festival falls on the full-moon day of Ashadh month of Nepali calendar (June-July). Traditionally, Guru is the person who first teaches a child to learn the scared gayatri mantra during bratabandha (sacred thread) ceremony. That was considered the start of the reading and writing for the child.

In Sanskrit, “Guru” means a person who removes darkness of ignorance and gives the light of knowledge to a person. (“Gu” = Darkness and “ru” = light) On Guru Purnima festival, schools, colleges and other organizations celebrate by organizing programs to pay respect to the teachers.

The day is also Byas Jayanti – the birth anniversary of the sage Ved Byas. Ved Byas is believed to have written the 18 puranas and 18 upapuranas that explain the four vedas.

Students often organize fanfares in schools to appreciate the hard work done by their teachers. This is taken as a great opportunity to consolidate the bond of teacher-student relationships.

Teacher’s Day in other countries

It is not only in Nepal, Teacher’s day are being observed in almost all countries in the world. The Day however fall in different days of the year.

In Canada – World Teachers’ Day is celebrated every year on October 5. More than 100 countries around the world celebrate the Teacher’s Day on that day.

In the USA: The National Teacher Day is on Tuesday during Teacher Appreciation Week, which takes place in the first full week of May.

In Australia the Teacher’s Day is celebrated on the last Friday in October.

In UK – People celebrate Teacher’s Day in UK on May 9th.

Happy Teacher’s Day to all the teachers in Nepal.

UPDATE (this update is obtained from Wikipedia)

Teachers’ Day in different countries:

  • Afghanistan – the Teachers’ Day falls on 3 Saur (3 Ordibehesht). That is the 3rd day of the local month that falls in April and May. The schools don’t have a holiday on that day as the students and teachers gather in schools to celebrate with traditional food, cookies and music. Students give presents to the teachers.
  • Albania – 7 March – This is the day to celebrates the opening of the first school where lessons were taught in the Albanian language, on 7 March 1887.
  • Algeria – 28 February (Details not available)
  • Argentina – 11 September –
  • Armenia – 5 October – Previously Armenia used to celebrate Teacher’s Day on the first Sunday of October. The Republic of Armenia changed the day to 5 October, which coincides with World Teachers’ Day (est. 1994 by UNESCO).
  • Australia – Last Friday in October – Australian celebrate of World Teachers’ Day. World Teachers’ Day was started by UNESCO and is celebrated in more than 100 countries around the world each year.
    Azerbaijan – 5 October – It used to be the first Sunday of October from 1965 and 1994. In 1994, 5 October is celebrated as the World Teachers’ Day. That was after UNESCO decided to celebrate the day on 5 October.
  • Bangladesh – 5 October
  • Belarus – 14 August
  • Brunei – 23 September – To commemorate the birth date of the 28th ruler of Brunei, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III, also known as the ‘Architect of Modern Brunei’, who amongst other things emphasized the importance of education to his subjects by introducing a policy of ‘free’ education whereby the citizens are charged very nominal fees for attending schools. This policy has been continued and extended by the current (29th) ruler.
  • Bhutan – 2 May – Established and marked on the birth anniversary of the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who introduced modern education to the country.
  • Bolivia – 6 June
  • Brazil – 15 October – Established by a decree regulating elementary schools in Brazil. The celebration gained popularity throughout the country, and October 15 was officially designated Teachers’ Day in 1963.
  • Bulgaria – 5 October- On 29 September 2006, the date of 5 October was recognized as Teacher’s Day by the government.
  • Cameroon – 5 October – Teachers in Cameroon on Tuesday, 5 October 2010 joined their peers worldwide to celebrate the 17th World Teachers Day.
  • Canada – 5 October – On 5 October, along with other 100 countries around the world, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation and its member organizations across the country celebrate World Teachers’ Day through a public awareness campaign that highlights the contributions of the teaching profession.
  • Chile – 16 October – In 1967, 11 September was selected as “Día del Maestro” (“Teacher’s Day”). The date was moved to December 10 in 1975, because on that day in 1945, the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral received the Nobel Prize. In 1977, the date was renamed to “Día del Profesor” (also “Teacher’s Day”) and was moved again, to 16 October, to honour the founding of the Colegio de Profesores de Chile (Teachers’ Association of Chile).
  • China – 10 September – In the People’s Republic of China, there are some activities for students to show their appreciation to teachers, such as presenting gifts, including cards and flowers. In addition, many former students go back to their old primary schools, middle schools and high schools to give presents to their old teachers. The government first proclaimed Teachers’ Day in 1985, but has never clearly explained why it should fall on 10 September. Some believe it is due to the similar pronunciation between the word “teacher” (教师 jiao shi) and the two digits 9 (九jiu), 10 (十shi) in the date. Some people believe it was an arbitrary choice and have proposed to change it to 28 September, believed to be the birthdate of Confucius. On 5 September 2013, the State Council announced a legislative draft endorsing the change. If adopted, it would effectively make mainland China and Taiwan share the same Teachers’ Day beginning in 2014. Taiwan has observed 28 September as Teachers’ Day since the 1950s.
  • Colombia – 15 May – This day marks the appointment of San Juan Bautista de la Salle as the patron of teachers. In 1950, Pope Pius XII granted his approval of La Salle as patron of teachers for championing the causes of modern education. The holy founder understood the education of children as the obligation of all. Usually the schools of his time (1651–1719) only accepted young people studying towards politics or diplomacy. Juan Bautista outlined the principles of free and universal education. That same year in Colombia, the President of the Republic declared that date as Teachers’ Day.
  • Costa Rica – 22 November – To commemorate the birth date of Mauro Fernández Acuña (11/22/1843). one of the greatest educators of the country.
  • Cuba – 22 December – On 22 December 1961, Cuba declared itself a Territory Free of Illiteracy (Territorio Libre de Analfabetismo) (see Cuban Literacy Campaign)
  • Czech Republic – 28 March – This is the birthday of John Amos Comenius.
  • Dominican Republic – 30 June
  • Ecuador – 13 April – Celebrated on this date in honour of Juan Montalvo, an Ecuadorian teacher who planted the seeds of development in young minds.
  • Egypt – 28 February
    El Salvador – 22 June – Teachers’ Day in El Salvador is observed as a national holiday.
  • Estonia – 5 October
  • Germany – 5 October
  • Greece – 30 January – Derived from the Eastern Orthodox faith when the Three Holy Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers (Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom) are commemorated.
  • Guatemala – 25 June – A celebration in honour of the teacher María Chinchilla who died during a violent riot in protest against the government.
  • Honduras – September – Celebration in honour of the life of José Trinidad Reyes
  • Hong Kong -10 September – Before the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, Teachers’ Day was on 28 September. After the handover to the People’s Republic of China, the day was changed to 10 September, which is when the PRC celebrates the holiday.
  • Hungary- First Sunday of June
  • India – full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashadha (June–July), and also on 5 September. Guru Purnima is an Indian and Nepalese festival dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers. This festival is traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists, to pay their respects to their teachers and express their gratitude. The festival is celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashadha (June–July) as it is known in the Hindu calendar of India and Nepal. This day marks the first peak of the lunar cycle after the peak of the solar cycle.The celebration is marked by ritualistic respect to the Guru, Guru Puja. The Guru Principle is said to be a thousand times more active on the day of Guru purnima than on any other day. The word Guru is derived from two words, gu and ru. The Sanskrit root gu means darkness or ignorance, and ru denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore, a Guru is one who removes the darkness of our ignorance. Gurus are believed by many to be the most necessary part of life. On this day, disciples offer pooja (worship) or pay respect to their Guru (spiritual guide). In addition to having religious importance, this festival has great importance for Indian academics and scholars. Indian academics celebrate this day by thanking their teachers as well as remembering past teachers and scholars.
    The birth date of the second President of India, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, 5 September 1888, has been celebrated as Teacher’s Day since 1962. On this day, teachers and students report to school as usual but the usual activities and classes are replaced by activities of celebration, thanks and remembrance. In some schools, senior students take the responsibility of teaching in order to show their appreciation for the teachers.
  • Indonesia – 25 November – National Teachers’ Day is commemorated on the same day as the formation of the Indonesian Teachers’ Association, the PGRI. National Teachers’ Day is not a holiday, but it is celebrated by having a ceremonial activity in recognition of certain teachers, headmasters and other school staff.[citation needed]
  • Iran – 2 May (12 Ordibehesht) – The Islamic Republic government changed the original date to coincide with the assassination of Morteza Motahhari on 1 May 1979.
  • Israel – 23 Kislev
  • Iraq – March 1 – national teachers day in iraq is celebrated by the students showing appretiaton to their teachers by giving them presents, also it is celebrated by bringing traditional food into school and just having an open day in general
  • Jamaica – 6 May – Teachers’ Day is normally celebrated on May 7 or the first Wednesday in May. On Teachers’ Day, students and parents to bring teachers gifts and most of the schools close early.
  • Jordan – 28 February

    Kosovo – 7 March

  • Laos – 7 October
  • Latvia – The first Sunday of October – Teacher’s Day is celebrated in schools on the 1st Sunday of October. Usually, some classes that day are canceled or conducted by elder grade pupils, while teachers are greeted.
  • Lebanon – 9 March
  • Libya – 28 February
  • Lithuania – 5 October – Between 1965 and 1994, it was celebrated on the first Sunday of October. Since 1994, it has been celebrated on 5 October – on the World Teachers’ Day
  • Macedonia – 5 October
  • Malaysia – 16 May – This date was chosen because on the same day in 1956, the Federal Legislative Council of the Federation of Malaya endorsed the Razak Report, one of four reports of the Education Committee regarding education in Malaysia. The document, known as the Razak Report after Tun Abdul Razak who was Education Minister at the time, has been the basis of education in Malaysia ever since. Although it is not an official school holiday, celebrations are usually held on 16 May, or earlier if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday.
  • Maldives – 5 October -On 5 October, schools in the Maldives celebrate Teachers’ Day with many activities. Children and students give parcels and gifts to teachers.
  • Mauritius – 5 October
  • Mexico – 15 May – On 15 May (known as “Día del Maestro”) schools in Mexico are supposed to stop normal activities and organize cultural events that promote the importance and dignity of the teachers’ role in society[citation needed]. In reality some schools operate as usual and others take the day off. The first Teacher’s Day was celebrated on 15 May 1918. The date of 15 May was proposed at the Mexican Congress on 27 September 1917, approved on 29 October 1917 and published on 5 December 1917. There are several possible origins for choosing this date. The first one mentions that in the city of San Luis Potosí every 15 May, a group of students gathered to celebrate the birthday of their old teacher Isidore, named after Saint Isidore the Laborer, following the Mexican tradition of naming children according to the Saint celebrated the day they were born. The second origin considers the celebration of a historic event in the city of Querétaro on 15 May 1867.
  • Republic of Moldova – 5 October
  • Mongolia – 5 October
  • Morocco – 28 February
  • Myanmar (aka Burma) – 5 October
  • Nepal  – Full moon day of Ashad –  Ashad sukla purnima; the date usually falls in mid-July. Teacher’s Day is called “Guru Purnima” in Nepali, where “Guru” means teacher and “Purnima” means “Full Moon”.
  • Netherlands – 5 October
  • New Zealand – 29 October
  • Nigeria – 5 October Teachers’ day in Nigeria is usually a work-free day for all rural and urban teachers.
  • Oman – 24 February
  • Panama – 1 December – To commemorate the birth date of Manuel José Hurtado, who is known as the father of Panamanian education because of his promotion of modern universal education through the establishment of the first public schools and teachers’ colleges in what is now known as Panama — then part of Colombia – aiming to break the vicious cycle of ignorance and poverty that afflicted the vast majority of the population. He went on to be named Director-General of Public Instruction of the State of the Isthmus.
  • Pakistan – 5 October
  • Paraguay – 30 April
  • Peru – 6 July – During the independence of Peru, the Liberator José de San Martín founded the first Normal School for Men by means of a resolution passed by the Marquis of Torre-Tagle on 6 July 1822. Many years later, in 1953, the then president Manuel A. Odría decided that Teachers’ Day would be commemorated every 6 July.
  • Philippines – 5 October -In 2011, National Teacher’s Month, September 5 through the World Teachers’ Day celebration in October 5, making it the longest celebration to honor more than 500,000 teachers nationwide. Before 2011, Teachers’ Day was celebrated in schools between the months of September and October (mainly elementary and secondary levels). Teachers are presented with orchid corsages by students. Groups of students representing various grade levels perform short skits or song and dance numbers, or read poetry for their teachers in front of fellow schoolmates in school-wide activities. These activities are planned by senior students in the Student Council who coordinate the activities well in advance. For Filipino-Chinese schools, a program is usually organized by students for teachers on 27 September while 28 September, considered as the actual Teachers’ Day, is a school holiday where both teachers and students are allowed to rest. 28 September was selected as it is thought to be the birthdate of Confucius.
  • Poland – 14 October – This day is the anniversary of the creation of the Commission of National Education, created in 1773 through the initiative of King StanisÅ‚aw August Poniatowski. Normally, flowers and sweets will be given to teachers by kids. School play and activities can be also scheduled by student body.
  • Puerto Rico – 20 May – In 2016, it was celebrated on the 20th of May. Usually, it is the Friday before Mother’s Day. In some cases, it has been celebrated on the first Friday of May.
  • Kuwait 5 October
  • Qatar 5 October
  • Romania 5 October
  • Russia – 5 October – Between 1965 and 1994, the first Sunday of October, since 1994, 5 October, coinciding with World Teachers’ Day
  • Saudi Arabia – 28 February
  • Serbia 5 October
  • Singapore – First Friday of September – An official school holiday. Celebrations are normally conducted the day before, where students usually get half a day off. In some schools, students will put on performances to entertain and honour their teachers.
  • Slovakia – 28 March – Commemorates the birthdate of John Amos Comenius.
  • Somalia – 21 November – Since 1974, Teachers’ Day has been a public holiday celebrated in every school.
  • South Korea – 15 May (since 1963) in Seoul and 1964 (in Chunju City) Originally it was started by a group of Red Cross youth team members who visited their sick ex-teachers in hospitals. Originally its date was May 26. But since 1965, its date has been 15 May, Sejong the Great’s birthday. The national celebration ceremony was stopped between 1973 and 1982, but it resumed after that.  In 1982, it was revived again to create a climate that honors its mentor. On the day, teachers are usually presented with carnations by their students and ex-students. It is illegal to present carnations to public school teachers under the anti-graft law.
  • South Sudan – 1 December (2011–12); 1 October (2013–present) The president of South Sudan proclaimed Teacher’s Day for December 1, one month before the country’s first Teacher’s Day. On 1 September, one month before the country’s third Teacher’s Day, it was publicly announced that they changed the date to 1 October.
  • Sri Lanka – 6 October Officially Teachers’ Day is celebrated in every school on 6 October.
  • Spain – 27 November
  • Syria 18 March
  • Taiwan – 28 September  -Republic of China uses this day to honor teachers’ contributions to their own students and to society in general. People often make use of the day to express their gratitude to their teachers, such as paying them a visit or sending them a card. This date was chosen to commemorate the birth of Confucius, believed to be the model master educator in ancient China. In 1939, the Ministry of Education established the national holiday as 27 August, the attributed birthday of Confucius. In 1952, the Executive Yuan changed it to September, stating that it was calculated to be the precise date in the Gregorian calendar. The festival celebration occurs in the temples of Confucius around the island, known as the “Grand Ceremony Dedicated to Confucius” (祭孔大典). The ceremony begins at 6am with drum beats. 54 musicians are dressed in robes with blue belts, and 36 (or 64) dancers dressed in yellow with green belts. They are led by Confucius’s chief descendant (currently Kung Tsui-chang) and followed by ceremonial officers. Three animals are sacrificed: a cow, a goat, and a pig. The hairs plucked from these sacrificed animals are called the Hairs of Wisdom. In addition, local education institutes and civil offices award certain teachers for their excellence and positive influence.[citation needed]
  • Thailand – 16 January – Adopted as Teachers’ Day by a resolution of the government on 21 November 1956. The first Teachers’ Day was held in 1957. 16 January marks the enactment of the Teachers Act, Buddhist Era 2488 (1945), which was published in the Government Gazette on 16 January 1945, and came into force 60 days later. Most Thai schools close for the day to give their teachers a break during the long second term. Many international schools do not, although they may hold celebrations to honour their teaching staff. There are very few public or official commemorations.
  • Tunisia – 28 February
  • Turkey – 24 November – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk stated that “The new generation will be created by teachers” and as founding President adopted a new alphabet for the newly founded Turkish Republic in 1923. On November 24, 1928 Mustafa Kemal officially accepted the title of head teacher of the nation’s schools, granted by the cabinet of ministers. It has been celebrated since 1981 (after the 1980 Coup d’État) as The Teachers’ Day.
  • Ukraine – The first Sunday of October – At schools across the country, Teachers’ Day is celebrated the Friday before the holiday with concerts and gatherings, while students usually give their teachers gifts such as flowers and sweets.
  • United Arab Emirates 5 October.
  • United Kingdom 9 May
  • United States – National Teacher Day is on Tuesday during Teacher Appreciation Week, which takes place in the first full week of May. The National Education Association (NEA) describes National Teacher Day as “a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives”. Congress declared 7 March 1980 as National Teacher Day for that year only. The NEA and its affiliates continued to observe Teacher Day on the first Tuesday in March until 1985, when the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week in the first full week of May. As of 4 November 1976, 6 November was adopted as Teachers’ Day in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Currently, Massachusetts sets the first Sunday of June as its own Teachers’ Day annually.
  • Uruguay 22 September
  • Uzbekistan 1 October Uzbekistan is one of the countries where Teachers’ Day is on October 1, and there is a day off throughout the country. Teachers’ Day has been celebrated here since 1997.
  • Vietnam 20 November This holiday allows students to express their respect to their teacher. Students begin preparing a week in advance. Many classes prepare literature and art to welcome Teachers’ Day, while other students prepare foods and flowers for the parties held at their schools. Students usually visit their teachers at their homes to offer flowers and small gifts, or organize trips with their teachers and classmates. Former students also pay respect to their former teachers on this day. The holiday has its origins in a meeting between educators in communist bloc nations in Warsaw in 1957. It was first celebrated in 1958 as the Day of the International Manifest of Educators; in 1982 the day was renamed Vietnamese Educators’ Day.[citation needed]
  • Venezuela 15 January On this day there are no classes. During the week all the teachers are honoured for their support in building the country.[citation needed]
  • Yemen 28 February

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