An apostrophe is generally used after s in Teachers’ Day. The noun teachers is used as a plural possessive, indicated by an apostrophe after s.
- Teachers’ contributions to society are celebrated on Teachers’ Day.
- We honor our teachers on Teachers’ Day.
- Yesterday, on World Teachers’ Day, the federal government cut school funding by 23%.
Use of apostrophe
The general rule is to use an apostrophe in the name of a holiday that contains a possessive term (like New Year’s Eve and Women’s Day) but to omit the apostrophe if the name is a descriptive term (like Christmas Eve). Thus, both Teachers’ Day and Teachers Day are grammatically acceptable, depending on whether you consider the word possessive or descriptive. Use of the apostrophe is then a matter of accepted style rather than grammar.
The international holiday marked by UNESCO is World Teachers’ Day, officially written with an apostrophe after s. Accepted style therefore is to use the plural possessive. Here are some usage examples:
In 1918 Mexico became one of the first countries in the world to declare an annual Teachers’ Day holiday.— “Mexico’s crucial education reform risks being unwound,” Economist (May 31, 2018)
To mark World Teachers’ Day, the charity Teach First is urging more men to consider a career in the sector.— “Classrooms need more male teachers, charity says,” BBC News (Oct. 5, 2016)
Teachers had said they would demonstrate on Teachers’ Day on Sunday.— “Intimidation in Iran keeps protesters from rally,” New York Times (May 1, 2010)
Style manuals like the Chicago Manual of Style and APA Publication Manual generally consider names of holidays possessive (e.g., Presidents’ Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day). Therefore, in Chicago and APA style, an apostrophe would appear after s in Teachers’ Day. In contrast, the AP Stylebook generally considers such terms descriptive (e.g., Presidents Day, Indigenous Peoples Day). If you write in AP style, omit the apostrophe.
- Correct: Chicago, APA style: Holidays like Teachers’ Day remind us of the value of education.
- Correct: AP (Associated Press) style: Holidays like Teachers Day remind us of the value of education.
Whether to use an apostrophe in the name of a holiday can be confusing, since this decision is often based on style rather than grammar. For a list of holidays written with and without the apostrophe, see Apostrophes in Names of Holidays.
Apostrophe before or after S?
The word teachers in Teachers’ Day is usually written as a plural noun to celebrate and honor all teachers: the apostrophe is therefore placed after s. However, it is grammatically fine to consider the noun singular and place the apostrophe before s—Teacher’s Day, like Mother’s Day. Using the plural is accepted style.
If a holiday is official in a state or a nation, follow that territory’s official style of using the apostrophe.
Use of capital letters
Capitalize both words in Teachers’ Day. As a specially designated day, it is aand therefore capitalized.
- Incorrect: Around the globe, schools celebrated teachers’ day yesterday.
Incorrect: Around the globe, schools celebrated Teachers’ day yesterday.
Correct: Around the globe, schools celebrated Teachers’ Day yesterday.