How to Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday

Top 5 Ways to Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday

Shakespeare Birthday
Shakespeare Birthday.

Shakespeare was born and died on 23 April – and over 400 years on, we are still celebrating his birthday. Joining up with a Bard birthday bash is the best way to celebrate, but if you’re unable to attend an event, throw your own party!

Here are my top six ways to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday:

1. Visit Stratford-upon-Avon

I concede. This is not achievable for everyone. But if you do live in the UK or are visiting in the April months, then there is no better place in the world to celebrate William Shakespeare's birthday than his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon.

On the weekend of his birthday, this little market town in Warwickshire (UK) pulls out all the stops. Hundreds of people travel to the town and line the streets to watch the town dignitaries, community groups and RSC celebrities mark the Bard's birth by starting the parade in Henley Street - where the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust can be found. They then snake their way through the streets of the town to Holy Trinity Church, the Bard's final resting place. The town then spends the weekend (and most of the week) entertaining its visitors with street performances, RSC workshops, world-class theater and free community theater. 

2. Perform a Scene

If you can't make it to Stratford-upon-Avon or one of the other Shakespeare birthday events happening around the world, then why not throw your own party. Dust off that old Shakespeare book and act out your favorite scene. Couples can try the famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, or the entire family can attempt the tragic ending from Hamlet.

Remember: Shakespeare didn’t write his plays to be read – they were to be performed! So, get into the spirit and start acting.

3. Read a Sonnet

Shakespeare’s sonnets are some of English literature’s most beautiful poetry. It’s a delight to read aloud. Ask everyone at the celebration to find a sonnet that they like and read it to the group.

If you’re not sure how to read Shakespeare aloud, we have some advice to make your performance sparkle.

4. Visit the Globe

Ok, this might be difficult if you don’t live in London! But with PaperToys.com you can build your own globe and keep the family entertained all afternoon. Visit www.papertoys.com/globe.htm, print out all the parts you need and reconstruct Shakespeare's "wooden O". You can also take our photo tour of the reconstructed Globe Theatre in London, or discover more by reading our article on five facts you didn't know about the Globe Theatre. 

5. Watch a Branagh Film!

Kenneth Branagh has made some of cinema’s best Shakespeare film adaptations. In my opinion, Much Ado About Nothing is his most upbeat, celebratory film – the perfect film to finish of the Bard’s birthday bash.