Every year on May 24, India celebrates Commonwealth Day which is also referred to as Empire Day. India, along with a few other countries, observes Commonwealth Day on a day other than the second Monday in March, which is the usual day when Commonwealth Day is celebrated around the world. It is for this reason that the Commonwealth is one of the oldest political organizations in the world. In the past, its origins can be traced back to the British Empire, when Britain ruled over countries all over the world.

Every year on the second Monday in March, Commonwealth Day (formerly Empire Day) marks the beginning of the Commonwealth of Nations Around the World. Traditionally, the day’s celebrations include an Anglican service at Westminster Abbey attended by Queen Elizabeth II and Commonwealth Secretary-General, along with Commonwealth High Commissioners in London.

Commonwealth Day 2023: Theme

The official website for Commonwealth Day notes that the theme for Commonwealth Day 2023 is ‘Forging a sustainable and peaceful common future

Commonwealth Day 2022: Theme

The official website for Commonwealth Day notes that the theme for Commonwealth Day 2022 is based on the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, “Trying to deliver a Common Future”, which illustrates how the Commonwealth’s 54 member nations are ‘innovating, connecting, and transforming’ to help achieve goals such as combating climate change, promoting good governance, and increasing trade.”

Read More: 24 May in Indian and World History

History Of Commonwealth Day

Commonwealth Day formerly Known as Empire Day. Empire Day was first celebrated on May 24, 1902, the Queen’s birthday. The day was founded in the United Kingdom in 1904 by Reginald Brabazon, who wanted to “develop a sense of social identification and imperial duty among young empire citizens.” Queen Victoria passed away on January 22, 1901, so Empire Day was not recognized until then.

Britain’s Empire League promoted Empire Day as a patriotic holiday in 1916, and it became an annual event. As Britain’s colonies shrank following World War II, Commonwealth countries began to embrace their own individuality and nationality, changing their relationship with Britain. Around 90,000 people attended an Empire Day thanksgiving service at Wembley Stadium in 1925 as part of the British Empire Exhibition. The British Empire League promoted Empire Day as a patriotic holiday. After the First World War, the jingoism of the festival was toned down in favor of a more sombre celebration. As the British empire crumbled, Empire Day became Commonwealth Day. The Commonwealth Administration chose the second Monday in March as the date to commemorate Commonwealth Day based on a recommendation from the Royal Commonwealth Society in 1973.

Significance of Commonwealth Day

This day is observed by countries that have written a pledge of understanding agreeing to all of the Commonwealth’s requirements for membership. Humanity and fortitude are the goals of this gathering. Commonwealth citizens gather on this day to make life choices and resolve any difficulties peacefully.

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