Esperanto Language Blog

Happy Zamenhof Day! Posted by on Dec 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

Some may argue that Esperanto doesn’t have a culture, because there aren’t paintings, sculptures, holidays, etc. But wait, there is a holiday! Well, December 15 is celebrated the world over as Zamenhof Day, because that is the birthday of the initiator of Esperanto: L. L. Zamenhof. Some people have wanted to change the name to the Day of the Esperanto Book, since they feel that Zamenhof’s role in Esperanto is overemphasized and can seem cultish to “outsiders.”

Most clubs will have their largest party of the year around Zamenhof Day. In Berlin, people come from nearby cities to enjoy a complete weekend of festivities. There you can see films with Esperanto subtitles, hear lectures and also concerts. On Saturday, there will be a walk through the city. The best part of the entire time though is seeing people you haven’t seen for a long time. That’s why this year there will be two locations… one for the program and one area just to chat with friends. Last year around 100 people attended the Zamenhof party here.

But, what if you don’t live in a big city?! Well, some people celebrate it with others on Twitter or Facebook. There is the Worldwide Twitter Action for Esperanto which is an attempt to make Esperanto a trending topic on Twitter… basically tweet anything in or about Esperanto and add #Esperanto to your tweet! If you’re not feeling creative, the group even made a page of sample tweets! Read more details in Esperanto on Libera Folio. On Facebook, you can find the Hug an Esperanto Speaker Day which is yet another fun way to celebrate the day.

Google Doodle: December 15, 2009

Who knows what could happen? Last year, Google even published a Google doodle with the Esperanto flag. That started as an Esperanto-USA campaign by American Esperanto speaker, Tim Westover to write Google. I have to admit that I was skeptical at first, but very pleasantly surprised when I first saw it appearing on (considering time zones start over there first)! Then it was a nice experience as hour after hour we saw it on other national sites. As I once heard, “There has probably never ever been a day in history where so many people saw the Esperanto flag.” Most Esperanto sites reported getting around seven times their normal amount of traffic.

Anyway, if you’re alone and don’t feel like celebrating online, you could take this day to catch up with an Esperanto friend around the world you haven’t heard from in a while. Or you could grab that Esperanto book off your shelf which you keep meaning to read. No matter where you are, you can surely find some way to remember how Esperanto has opened your world’s horizons and the new experiences it’s given you. In any case, I wish you Ĝojan Zamenhoftagon! (Happy Zamenhof Day!)

Keep learning Esperanto with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Chuck Smith

I was born in the US, but Esperanto has led me all over the world. I started teaching myself Esperanto on a whim in 2001, not knowing how it would change my life. The timing couldn’t have been better; around that same time I discovered Wikipedia in it’s very early stages and launched the Esperanto version. When I decided to backpack through Europe, I found Esperanto speakers to host me. These connections led me to the Esperanto Youth Organization in Rotterdam, where I worked for a year, using Esperanto as my primary language. Though in recent years I’ve moved on to other endeavors like iOS development, I remain deeply engrained in the Esperanto community, and love keeping you informed of the latest news. The best thing that came from learning Esperanto has been the opportunity to connect with fellow speakers around the globe, so feel free to join in the conversation with a comment! I am now the founder and CTO of the social app Amikumu.


  1. Keĉjo:

    Ah, is that what they mean when they say that Esperanto doesn’t have a culture? Because it seems to me that Esperanto does have a culture, albeit one that’s more accessible and less esoteric than other cultures. As for paintings and sculptures, I couldn’t care less, though I’m not really seeing the logic to it: languages don’t have these things, but rather it’s the countries and nations that speak those languages that do.

  2. William DeWitt:

    I am studying Dutch, German, Swedish and Spanish sporatically and might switch to the green flag language if it is current; Thanks

  3. doviende:

    Thanks for the informative article, Chuck. I made a few tweets about it. I’ve got some upcoming esperanto stuff on my own blog soon too, thanks to your encouragement 🙂

  4. Jens S. Larsen:

    Actually, there are a lot of Esperanto and Zamenhof monuments around, especially in Poland and Brazil. See