Commonwealth Day, formerly known as Empire Day, is celebrated every year by the gathering of 54 Commonwealth countries. It is celebrated on the second Monday of May in most of these countries, but in India and a few others it is observed on May 24th. These 54 countries unite for several common goals.
The day is celebrated in all nations that were once under the rule of the British Empire. The primary objectives of the Commonwealth are to share the goals of its members such as trade and economy, to develop societies in gender education, health and sport, to support each other in economic matters and to protect the environment.
Commonwealth Day: Theme
Every year the day is celebrated under a particular theme and this year’s Commonwealth Day 2022 theme is ‘Delivering a Common Future’. This year’s theme highlights the innovation, connection and transformation of 54 countries in the Commonwealth family, in an effort to achieve goals including climate change, promoting good governance and boosting trade.
Commonwealth Day: History
Formerly called Empire Day and first celebrated in 1902 in memory of Queen Victoria, who passed away on January 22, 1901. It was first observed on Queen Victoria’s birthday on May 24, 1902, and it wasn’t until 1916 that the day was declared an official annual event.
Before the day was officially recognized as an annual event, many schools across the British Empire celebrated it. It was Lord Meath in 1916 who extended the celebration of the day to all nations and hence it became an important event in history. However, in 1958 it was announced by the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Harold Macmillan, that Empire Day should be renamed Commonwealth Day.
Commonwealth Day: Meaning
The day is important because it symbolizes unity, and also for the members of the Commonwealth to unilaterally reiterate their commitment to equality, peace and democracy of all members of this group. It is observed in an effort to promote humanity and solidarity.
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