23rd April is a figurative date for world creative writing as on this date and in the unchanged year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is as well the date of birth or death of other famous authors for example Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. It was a usual selection for UNESCO's General Conference to give a world-wide honour to books and authors on this date, cheering everyone, specifically young people, to find out the happiness of reading and achieve a transformed admiration for the unique contributions of those who have furthered the communal and cultural development of humankind. By commemorating this Day all through the world, UNESCO aims to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property by the means of copyright.
The proposal for this festivity started off in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George's Day, a rose is usually given as a gift for every book sold. The 23rd April was celebrated as a way of respect the author Miguel de Cervantes who died on that day. This turned out to be a part of the merriment of the Saint George's Day in the region, where it has been customary since the medieval epoch for men to give roses to their lovers and since 1925 for the woman to give a book in replace. About half of the yearly sales of books will be at this time in Catalonia with over 400,000 sold and exchanged for over 4 million roses.
In 1995, UNESCO resolute that the World Book and Copyright Day would be observed on this date due to the Catalonian festival and since the date is also the anniversary of the birth and death of William Shakespeare, the death of Miguel de Cervantes, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and Josep Pla, the birth of Maurice Druon, Vladimir Nabokov, Manuel Mejía Vallejo and Halldór Laxness.
Even though 23 April is often avowed as the anniversary of the deaths of both Shakespeare and Cervantes, this is not fitting. Cervantes died on 23 April as per the Gregorian calendar; on the other hand, at that instance England still used the Julian calendar. At the same time Shakespeare died on 23 April by the Julian calendar in use in his own nation at the time, in fact he died ten days after Cervantes, because of the inconsistency between the two date systems. The obvious correspondence of the two dates was a lucky accident for UNESCO.
Rationale Behind the Day
World Book and Copyright Day is an event to pay a universal mark of respect to books and authors and to persuading people to find out the enjoyment of reading. It is expected that this will show the way to the transformed respect for those who have made unique contributions to social and educational advancements. In some years, the UNESCO Prize for Children's and Young People's Literature in the Service of Tolerance is granted. This is a prize for novels, collections of short stories or picture books that encourage broadmindedness, harmony, mutual understanding and high opinion for other peoples and cultures. There are two types: one for books targeting at children aged up to 12 years; and one for those targeting at young people aged 13 to 18 years.
It is also hoped that World Book and Copyright Day will add to people's perceptive of and obedience to copyright rules and other methods to defend intellectual copyright.
The success of the World Book and Copyright Day will depend primarily on the support of authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media who have been mobilized in each country by UNESCO National Commissions, UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations, Associated Schools and Libraries, and by all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors.
A variety of events to uphold reading and the educational features of books are held all over the world. A lot of of these highlight global collaboration or friendships between countries. Proceedings include: relay readings of books and plays; the circulation of bookmarks; the declaration of the winners of literary contests and actions to encourage the knowledge of laws on copyright and the guarding of authors' intellectual property.
2015 theme is "Protecting Our Heritage and Fostering Creativity"
2014 theme is "History and Stories"
2013 theme is "reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright."
2012 theme is "books and translation".