Roald Dahl Day is on September 13 - how to celebrate

Children’s writer Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916 – and the anniversary of his birth is now a national special day on which we celebrate his work.

Roald Day Day is help on the children's writer's birthday - September 13
Roald Day Day is help on the children's writer's birthday - September 13

History of Roald Dahl Day

Born in Wales in 1916, Dahl was named after Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. Dahl exhibited an adventurous spirit from an early age. After he finished school, he worked for Shell Petroleum in present-day Tanzania, then became an aircraftman for the Royal Air Force in 1939, when World War Two loomed.

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Narrowly surviving a desert crash landing and the Battle of Athens, Dahl then received an appointment as assistant air attache at the British Embassy in Washington, DC. During this time, he supplied intelligence to Winston Churchill.

Dahl’s military career inspired much of his early writing. His first published story recounts his crash landing.

He continued to draw inspiration from his surroundings, basing many of his settings and scenes on true aspects of Great Missenden, the Buckinghamshire village he and his family called home.

He went on to write more than 30 novels, creating Willy Wonka, Matilda, and Mr Fox and dozens of screenplays.

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How to celebrate Roald Dahl Day

Reread your favorite book

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Has it been a while since you read your favorite Dahl novel? Dust it off and immerse yourself in one of his fantasy worlds — or find a new favourite.

Watch your favorite movie adaptation

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Dahl’s books have been adapted into dozens of popular movies. Find your favorite adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, The BFG or other Dahl novels and have a movie night with the whole family.

Interesting facts about Roald Dahl

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He invented more than 500 new words and names.

Calling his invented language Gobblefunk, Dahl created hundreds of new words – frobscottle – and names – Oompa Loompas.

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The Chocolate Factory is inspired by Cadbury's

When he was a child, Cadbury's chocolate company would taste-test their treats at Dahl's school.

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He worked alongside James Bond's creator.

During his time as a British intelligence officer in World War Two, Dahl worked with another spy named Ian Fleming. Fleming later wrote the James Bond books as well as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which Dahl adapted for the big screen.