Commonwealth Day is celebrated annually on the second Monday of March. It is a day to commemorate the Commonwealth of Nations, an intergovernmental organization of 54 member countries, most of which are former territories of the British Empire. The day is a celebration of the diversity and unity of the Commonwealth and its people.
The history of Commonwealth Day dates back to 1897 when it was known as Empire Day. It was celebrated on May 24th each year to mark Queen Victoria’s birthday. However, in 1958, the name was changed to Commonwealth Day and the date was moved to the second Monday of March to ensure that it did not coincide with any national holiday in member countries.
Each year, the day is marked with a unique theme that reflects the values and aspirations of the Commonwealth. The theme for Commonwealth Day 2023 is “Innovate for a Green Future” which focuses on the need for the Commonwealth to come together to find innovative solutions to address the challenges of climate change.
The Commonwealth Secretariat via https://thecommonwealth.org/commonwealth-day stated that “Commonwealth Day takes place on Monday 13 March, 2023”. Commonwealth Day is celebrated in many different ways around the world. In some countries, it is marked with parades and other public events. In others, it is a day to reflect on the shared values and aspirations of the Commonwealth and its people.
One of the key events of Commonwealth Day is the Commonwealth Day message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who is the Head of the Commonwealth. In her message, the Queen reflects on the significance of the day and highlights the importance of the Commonwealth’s values and achievements.
Another important aspect of Commonwealth Day is the Commonwealth Day Observance, which is held at Westminster Abbey in London. The Observance brings together members of the royal family, representatives of Commonwealth governments, and other dignitaries to celebrate the day with a special service.
The Commonwealth Games, which is a multi-sport event featuring athletes from Commonwealth countries, is also an important part of Commonwealth Day celebrations. The Games are held every four years and are a testament to the shared sporting culture of the Commonwealth.
In conclusion, Commonwealth Day is an important day that celebrates the unity and diversity of the Commonwealth and its people. It is a day to reflect on the shared values and aspirations of the Commonwealth and to celebrate the achievements of its member countries. The day serves as a reminder of the importance of international cooperation and collaboration in addressing global challenges, such as climate change.