World Marbles Day Date in the current year: March 29, 2024

World Marbles Day World Marbles Day is an annual holiday celebrating one of the world’s oldest and most beloved toys. It is observed on Good Friday to coincide with the British and World Marbles Championship held in Tinsley Green, West Sussex.

Marbles are small spherical objects used in a variety of games that bear the same name; they can be made from glass, stone, clay, steel, or plastic. The oldest balls of stone that archaeologists identified as marbles were excavated near Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan; they are dated to about 2500 BCE. Early recorded mentions of marbles can be found in Roman literature.

Marbles can be used to play a variety of games. A version of marbles popular in the United Kingdom, some other European countries, and the United States is ring taw (ringer), where a ring is drawn on the ground, and a number of small marbles are placed in it. Players take turns to flick a larger marble at the small marbles, attempting to drive them out of the ring. The modern version of the game uses 49 12-mm marbles and an 18-mm marble called “taw” or “tolley”. The ring is 1.8 meters (6 ft) in diameter, made from raised concrete and covered with sand.

Marbles are also popular as collectible items. Some people start collecting marbles for nostalgia after having outgrown the game, while others collect them primarily for their aesthetic colors and patterns. Some glass artists produce art marbles specifically for the purpose of collecting.

World Marbles Day is celebrated every year on Good Friday to coincide with the world’s oldest marbles knock-out tournament, the British and World Marbles Championship in Tinsley Green. Its history can be traced back to the Elizabethan era; the first ever tournament was held in 1588.

As legend goes, two young suitors from Tinsley Green, Giles and Hodge, were vying for the hand of Joan, a local milk maiden. For a week, they competed with each other in “all known sports”, ranging from archery to cock throwing. Each suitor ended up victorious at six sports, and the final event, planned for Good Friday, was the deciding one. Joan chose marbles as the final sport; Giles defeated Hodge and won Joan’s hand in marriage.

After that, marble tournaments became a local tradition. The modern British Marbles Championship was established in 1932. Six years later, it was renamed the British and World Marbles Championship. The event was on hiatus from 1942 to 1945 due to World War II, returned in 1946, and has been going strong ever since except for cancellations in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of course, the best way to celebrate World Marbles Day would be to travel to the championship in Tinsley Green, but we understand that not everyone has the time, money or opportunity to take the trip. Luckily, there are other ways to observe the holiday! You can play marbles with your friends or kids, throw a marbles-themed party or organize a neighborhood tournament, watch videos of marbles tournaments online, start a marbles collection, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #WorldMarblesDay.

Remind me with Google Calendar


International Observances


World Marbles Day, international observances, marbles, game of marbles, British and World Marbles Championship