11 August: Mountain Day 2022 and its Significance

11 August: Mountain Day 2022 and its Significance

Mountain Day takes place annually on 11 August and reminds us to see mountains as natural sanctuaries of peace. Mountain Day encourages everyone, especially those who are boxed into the flatlands of dense, urban centres; to use the day exploring nature and taking in wondrous views while breathing deeply of fresh, mountain air. Pondering the blessings that mountains offer is reflective of Shintoism, the dominant religious practise in Japan.

Also, International Mountain Day is observed every year on 11 December. As the name suggests, the day is observed to encourage the suitability of habitats in mountainous regions. Further, it highlights the importance of sustainable development of in mountains. The Day is observed from 2003 onwards.

Theme of Mountain Day 2022

Mountain Day takes place annually on 11 August and reminds us to see mountains as natural sanctuaries of peace. There is no specific theme for the day

Quick facts about mountains across the globe

The world’s tallest mountain ranges form when pieces of Earth’s crust—called plates—smash against each other in a process called plate tectonics, and buckle up like the hood of a car in a head-on collision.

  • The tallest mountain measured from top to bottom is Mauna Kea, an inactive volcano on the island of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. Measured from the base, Mauna Kea stands 33,474 feet (10,203 meters) tall, though it only rises 13,796 feet (4,205 meters) above the sea.
  • The Himalayas in Asia formed from one such massive wreck that started about 55 million years ago.
  • Thirty of the world’s highest mountains are in the Himalaya.
  • The summit of Mount Everest, at 29,035 feet (8,850 meters), is the highest point on Earth.
History of Mountain Day

When it comes to lifestyle and technological advancements, Japan is well ahead of the rest of the world. The Japanese people, despite their peak urbanization, are quite grounded in their roots and perceive themselves as being more connected to nature than other developed nations.

Japan’s dense cities and its culture were developed on flat land near the sea, but that is only one element of its extraordinary landscapes. In order to celebrate the mountainous geography of the country, hikers, trekkers, and activist groups, such as the Japanese Alpine Club, advocated for the establishment of Mountain Day.

In 2014, the idea for Mountain Day or ‘Yama-no-Hi’ was conceived and, in 2016, the day became Japan’s latest public holiday. August 11 was established as the day for the holiday’s observance because, in the Chinese characters used for writing Japanese — Kanji, the number eight resembles a mountain, and the number 11 resembles two trees.

There weren’t many traditional activities or ceremonies for the inception of Mountain Day in Japan. The inauguration ceremony took place in the Japanese Alps at Kamikochi in Matsumoto, Nagano. The day is celebrated on August 11 but, if the date falls on a Sunday, the holiday will be observed on the following Monday.

OV Digital Desk