There are many odd holidays, but I think Talk like Shakespeare Day takes the prize for oddest holiday of the month of April. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared this day a holiday to encourage citizens to express themselves by using Shakespeare as an influence. Talk like Shakespeare Day is on Wednesday, April 23.
A little more history on this holiday further explains that since Shakespeare’s birth date was never recorded, scholar’s studies indicate that April 23 is a very close approximation. How did they get this date? Shakespeare’s baptism date was recorded to be on April 26, and during that time it was customary to baptize a child three days after birth.
Emanuel writes on his proclamation, “We are reminded of Shakespeare’s indelible influence, through timeless works and a contribution of over 1,700 words and language.” We’ve all heard of “Romeo and Juliet,” possibly Shakespeare’s most popular work of art. It has since become several both film and book adaptations.
Even when “Romeo and Juliet” is not a direct adaptation, many romantic films follow the “impossible love” storyline. Another famous Shakespeare literature is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
On this day, make sure to bring out your inner poet! Need some help in practicing the Shakespeare lingo? Here is a little cheat sheet: You is Thou, Men are Sirrah, Ladies are Mistress, and Ya’ll is Ye. Also, instead of ‘Friends’ say ‘Cousins’ and instead of ‘That’s cray’ say ‘T’would be folly!’ Check out Talk Like Shakespeare’s official site for a longer lesson.
A fun little fact: Shakespeare died exactly 52 years after birth on April 23, 1616. How young! It’s truly remarkable all of the work he did throughout his life. If you like this holiday, you might like Talk Like a Pirate Day, coming up in September.