Commonwealth Day – Second Monday of March
Commonwealth Day is an annual moveable holiday on the second Monday in March every year. The day is commemorated with a liturgy at Westminster Abbey attended by the British royal family and widespread celebrations in Commonwealth countries!
The historical event, which recognizes the group’s history, is observed as a public holiday in some states. With a yearly message by Queen Elizabeth, it promotes a peaceful global environment and strives to inspire Commonwealth governments for their future.
Amongst the many national and international days celebrated, Commonwealth Day is one of the most known days, especially for the British.
History is a fascinating subject
Following Queen Victoria’s death on January 22, 1901, her birthday, May 24, was commemorated as Empire Day on May 24, 1902, though it was not officially recognized as an annual event until 1916. Empire Day was established in the United Kingdom by Lord Meath in 1905, and it was extended throughout the Commonwealth countries; it was a “sign of that unity of emotion to those ideas of justice, freedom, and tolerance for which the British Empire stood all over the world.”
Harold MacMillan, the then-Prime Minister, renamed Empire Day Commonwealth Day in 1958. This is because the Commonwealth has a common history, legal system, culture, and so on. The Commonwealth Secretariat chose the second Monday in March as the commemoration day after the Royal Commonwealth Society proposed it in 1973.
The 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth is commemorated on Commonwealth Day this year. The Commonwealth is a transnational network of 53 countries with about 2.4 billion people, or one-third of the world’s population, 60% under 30.
Why is it important to have a Commonwealth Day?
Today is an important historical date
Commonwealth Day evolved from Empire Day, which commemorated Queen Victoria’s life and death in 1901. While this is an important piece of history, Commonwealth Day is even more significant since it commemorates the Commonwealth’s historical peace and all of the common good, they have achieved due to their collaboration.
It’s an opportunity to show your support for the Commonwealth
Though not all Commonwealth countries have declared Commonwealth Day a national holiday or are still loyal to the monarchy, many are delighted to be part of such an alliance and proudly showcase their heritage on this day.
It is enjoyable to see
Every year, billions of people throughout the world celebrate Commonwealth Day with fun and food. Furthermore, many celebrities and entertainers volunteer to speak in honour of Commonwealth Day or even at the Commonwealth Day service. Even while the day is steeped in tradition and history, it is also considered a lot of fun.
The Commonwealth was one of the world’s oldest political organizations, with roots in the British Empire when certain countries were ruled directly or indirectly by Britain. Over the years, independent countries from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific have joined The Commonwealth, with the most recent additions, Rwanda and Mozambique, having no historical connection to the Empire.
Many people are revisiting Britain’s colonialism and imperialism history today, and a new reality of Commonwealth states and Commonwealth Day is becoming more widely recognized. There is currently a drive to make the holiday a moral reckoning.
Although due to the whole COVID-19 pandemic which is been happening for a year, it has become a little challenging actually to celebrate any day. Hence, Commonwealth Day is no such exception. Like everything has gone virtual, so will this day be celebrated all virtually.
The activities will all be the same, but the only difference will be that everything will be online, and no meetings will be there. This annual day is one of the very favourite days of people across different continents such as Africa, Asia, the Americas etc.
All the countries which were associated with Britain during the previous times do look forward to celebrating this day with utmost fun and excitement.