If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.Roald Dahl
James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, and BFG. Many of these should sound familiar to quite a few adults, as well as children of all ages! Many people aren’t aware of it, but these are all the creative works of one Mr. Roald Dahl.
Roald Dahl Day celebrates this creative master and all of the work that he has done by bringing stories of fiction and wonder to children everywhere, as well as his work through the Roald Dahl Marvelous Children’s Charity.
Learn more about Roald Dahl and enjoy celebrating him and his work on this most fantastic of days!
History of Roald Dahl Day
Roald Dahl has a truly amazing personal history and life. It all started in 1916 in Cardiff, Wales, UK where Roald was born to Norwegian parents Sofie Magdalene Dahl and Harald Dahl. At the young age of three, Roald lost both his sister and his father. Even though it probably would have been easier to return to Norway, his mother chose to remain in Wales to honor his father’s wishes that he be educated in British schools.
From the age of 13, Roald attended Repton School, a prestigious boarding school located in Derbyshire, England, where one of his most important works would be conceived. The story goes that Cadbury regularly sent chocolate bars to the school to be tested by the students, which led to Roald having dreams of creating a chocolate bar so delicious that Mr. Cadbury would praise it! It doesn’t take a genius to guess that this was the origin of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory you’re dead on.
What most people do not know is that Dahl didn’t start out as an author to begin with. First, after finishing school, Roald went on to be a Fighter Ace during WWII, and had a long and distinguished career in which he fought in some of the most significant air battles of the war. Ultimately he started experiencing severe headaches that prevented him from flying, and spent the rest of his military career working as a diplomat, writer, and intelligence officer.
It was during this time that he wrote The Gremlins, his first children’s book, which was written for Walt Disney Productions to promote a full-length film that remained unmade. It was published as a book in 1943. From there on, Dahl continued writing prolifically, creating some of the most popular stories in history.
It wasn’t until more than 60 years after his first book was published, and more than 15 years after his death, that Roald Dahl Day was instituted–in 2006. The first day took place on what would have been his 90th birthday.
Millions of children, and adults too, have spent delightful hours entering into the world of Dahl’s imagination, and this is the perfect day to pay homage to this creative genius. Since his books have been so popular (translated into at least 58 languages), the day to honor Dahl has been enjoyed and celebrated in countries all over the world.
It’s time to celebrate Roald Dahl Day!
How to Celebrate Roald Dahl Day
Celebrating this day is all about being creative and enjoying the childlike entrance into a world of fantasy and delight. Try out these ideas as inspiration for celebrating this day in imaginative ways:
Read Some of Roald Dahl’s Books
With a penchant for the fantastical and fun, Dahl’s creative work has been filled with all variety of stories and make-believe. But even though most of them take place in the imagination and include far-fetched fictional characters, some of the topics and themes that are addressed are very much part of real life.
Whether picking up a book from the library and reading it on your own, or gathering a few children together to read to out loud, celebrating Roald Dahl’s authorship by reading his books is a perfect way to honor Roald Dahl day!
Throw a Roald Dahl Day Story Party
Whether with family members, neighbors or in the classroom, throwing an all-out Roald Dahl story party is an ideal way to get a bunch of people involved! In fact, Dahl’s website offers a variety of tools and supplies in their downloadable Party Pack, making it super easy to pull off an event filled with fantastical, fictional fun. (Well, the stories might be fictional, but the fun will be completely real!)
The website also offers resources for decorating classrooms, creating characters, holding competitions, completing puzzles, performing experiments and just having a whole heap of Dahl-esque delight! https://www.roalddahl.com/
Of course, at the party, don’t forget to serve loads of Willy Wonka candies–particularly Gobstoppers! https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/gobstopper-day/
Watch a Roald Dahl Film
Some people find their preferred way of kicking off Roald Dahl Day is with a selection of films that have been creatively made from Dahl’s work. Perhaps, start off with a run of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a movie that was written by Roald Dahl and Ken Hughes and is a childhood favorite of millions everywhere!
From there, folks might want to watch Fantastic Mr. Fox, and the list of other movies that were based on his works.
Donate to Roald Dahl’s Marvelous Children’s Charity
If getting a group of friends together to watch movies anyway, consider putting out a donation bowl and collecting money to send to Roald Dahl’s Marvelous Children’s Charity. Or just encourage friends to make a donation online to this amazing charity that supports specialist nurses who care for seriously ill children all around the United Kingdom.