Usually the Commonwealth Day is celebrated all across the world on the second Monday in the month of March every year. But in India and couple of other countries Commonwealth Day is also celebrated on May 24. The Commonwealth Day is also known as the Empire Day. This day marks the formation of the British Empire in India and other colonies of Britain.
Empire Day was first celebrated on January 22, 1901after the demise of Queen Victoria . The first Empire Day was celebrated on May 24, 1902 which was the Queen’s birthday. Many schools across the British Empire were celebrating it even before it was officially recognised as an annual event.
In the year of 1916 Empire Day was declared an official annual event. According to Historic UK, a New Zealand school journal from 1910 had mentioned the Empire Day celebration. The journal mentioned how the Union Jack was unfurled to celebrate the occasion.
The British colonies dwindled after World War II. After this the relationship of commonwealth nations with Britain also saw a change , as they began to celebrate their own identity and idea of nationalism. Empire Day was then changed to Commonwealth Day as the British empire fell apart.
The date of Commonwealth Day was changed to June 10, to match with the official birthday of the present Queen Elizabeth II. However, it was again changed in 1977 to the second Monday in March, when each year The Queen sends a special message to the youth of the Empire or the various countries of the Commonwealth.
This year the theme for Commonwealth Day is: Delivering a Common Future. The aim of this theme is to highlight how the 54 Commonwealth countries are innovating, connecting and transforming to help achieve essential goals like tackling climate change, promoting good governance, achieving gender equality.
What is Commonwealth?
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of sovereign countries that were once under British law and government. The headquarters of the Commonwealth is London (United Kingdom). Its working language is English.
Reason Behind Celebration Of Commonwealth Day
Commonwealth Day is celebrated not only by India but also by many countries of the world together. This day is celebrated among those countries who had signed a letter of agreement agreeing to all the conditions laid down for inclusion in the list of Commonwealth countries. The reason behind celebrating this day is to promote humanity and solidarity. On the occasion of Commonwealth Day, all the members find a way to live together and solve every problem peacefully. Many countries in the world were ruled by the British Empire, gradually all countries were gaining independence. It was announced to celebrate Commonwealth Day with the aim of keeping these countries together, because unity can only establish peace and prosperity in this world.
How The theme is Decided
To celebrate Commonwealth Day, a theme is set each year and based on that theme, the activities of the governments and Commonwealth organizations of the countries joining the Commonwealth focus on the activities to be carried out during the coming year. For this, the civil society representatives of the countries who join the Commonwealth first choose some subject and give their advice on it. Then any one subject is agreed upon. It is then agreed to by the Commonwealth's chief 'Queen of Britain’. Today's topic encourages cooperation of Commonwealth countries to protect natural resources and the environment.
India is a powerful member among the 54 Commonwealth members. Countries of Asia, Africa and Europe continents have taken part in this congregation of 54 members. Commonwealth Day is celebrated in all the countries under the Commonwealth through the organization of various events. As in years past, Commonwealth Day has been organized by people in Africa, Asia, Caribbean and Commonwealth countries of America, Pacific and Europe, many activities and cultural events like faith and civic gathering, debate, school assembly, flag hoisting ceremony, parties Will be done. Speaking in fewer words, the strength of the Commonwealth Union is its member nations. As long as these nations have pledged to help each other, this Commonwealth will continue to work about the good of the world because all nations have to sign peace and unity agreements.
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