Commonwealth Day is traditionally commemorated on the second Monday of March in most of the 54 countries of the Commonwealth, with the British queen delivering a speech on the radio. However, India and a few other countries celebrate it on May 24.
The theme for Commonwealth Day 2022 is ‘Delivering a Common Future’ – which highlights how the fifty-four member countries in the Commonwealth family are ‘innovating, connecting and transforming’ to help attain goals like fighting climate change, promoting good governance, and improving trade.
History of Commonwealth Day:
- Commonwealth Day was earlier known as Empire Day. Empire Day was first observed in 1901, following the death of Queen Victoria on January 22, 1901. The inaugural Empire Day was observed on May 24, 1902, the late Queen’s birth anniversary.
- However, it was celebrated in many schools across the British Empire even before it was formally recognised as an annual event. By the 1950s, the British Empire had begun to disintegrate as several colonies gained independence, and Empire Day had lost its significance.
- However, the majority of them kept ties with Britain and established the Commonwealth of Nations. Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day in 1958.
- In 1973, the Royal Commonwealth Society proposed the day be changed, and the second Monday in March was selected by the Commonwealth Secretariat as the observance day.