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Anniversary

From Academic Kids

Alternate meaning: Anniversary (Asimov)

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An anniversary (from the Latin anniversarium, meaning the turning of the year) is a day that commemorates and/or celebrates an event that occurred on the same day of the year some time in the past.

However, the word is often incorrectly used for different time periods (eg. a "one month anniversary").


  • Birthdays are the most common type of anniversary, where the birth date of a person is commemorated.

The actual celebration can however be moved for practical reasons, as in the case of an official birthday (in the case of the British Monarch, always celebrated the second sunday of june, when the weather is likely to be good for the elaborate trooping the color - parade)

  • The Latin word dies natalis (literally birth day) has become a common term, adopted in all languages, especially in intellectual and institutional circles, for the anniversary of the founding ('legal or statutory birth') of an institution, such as an alma mater (college or other school). Even in ancient Rome, we know of the [dies] Aquilae natalis ('birthday of the eagle', anniversary of the official founding of a legion).

Most countries around the world celebrate national anniversaries. These can be the date of independence of the nation or the adoption of a new constitution or form of government.

Anniversaries of nations are usually given by the number of years elapsed in Latin.

Anniversary names

symbolic materials

Many anniversaries have special names. Generally speaking the longer the period, the more precious and/or durable the material associated with it, up to 70.

  • 1 year is a paper anniversary
  • 2 years is a cotton anniversary
  • 3 years is a leather anniversary
  • 4 years is a books anniversary
  • 5 years is a wood anniversary
  • 6 years is an iron anniversary
  • 7 years is a wool anniversary
  • 8 years is a bronze anniversary
  • 9 years is a copper anniversary
  • 10 years is a tin (or aluminium) anniversary
  • 11 years is a steel anniversary
  • 12 years is a silk anniversary
  • 13 years is a lace anniversary
  • 14 years is an ivory anniversary
  • 15 years is a crystal anniversary
  • 20 years is a china (porcelain) anniversary
  • 25 years is a Silver Jubilee or silver wedding anniversary
  • 30 years is a pearl anniversary
  • 35 years is a coral anniversary
  • 40 years is a ruby anniversary
  • 45 years is a sapphire anniversary
  • 50 years is a Golden Jubilee
  • 55 years is an emerald anniversary
  • 60 years is a Diamond Jubilee
  • 65 years is a Blue Sapphire anniversary
  • 70 years is a Platinum Jubilee.
  • 75 years is an Alabaster wedding anniversary
  • 80 years is an Oak wedding anniversary
  • There may exists variations in national traditions. Furthermore, there exist rather confusingly only partially overlapping, partially contradictory lists of anniversary gifts (such as wedding stones), separate from the 'traditional' names.


numerical (Latin-derived) names

  • Triennial - 3 years
  • Quadrennial - 4 years
  • Quinquennial - 5 years
  • Sexennial - 6 years
  • Septennial - 7 years
  • Octennial - 8 years
  • Novennial - 9 years
  • Decennial - 10 years
  • Vigennial - 20 years
  • Semicentennial - 50 years
  • Demisesquicentennial - 75 years
  • Centennial - 100 years
  • Quasquicentennial - 125 years
  • Sesquicentennial - 150 years
  • Terquasquicentennial - 175 years
  • Bicentennial - 200 years
  • Tercentennial or tricentennial - 300 years
  • Quadricentennial - 400 years
  • Quincentennial - 500 years
  • Sexacentennial - 600 years
  • Septuacentennial - 700 years
  • Octocentennial - 800 years
  • Nonacentennial - 900 years
  • Millennial - 1000 years
  • Bimillennial - 2000 years
  • Note by the way that there exists a tradition in several monarchies, including the Low Countries, to allow various organisations that have celebrated their centennial anniversary to adopt (or petition for) the enterily honorary predicate 'Royal' (or its equivalent, e.g. 'koninklijk' in Dutch), without any actual link with the court or the state

es:Aniversario

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