The International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day, is celebrated around the world every 21st of September. This day is dedicated for the celebration of world peace, both in the public and private spheres. It is a common misconception that World Peace Day aims to promote and celebrate only the absence of war. It is, in fact also a day to say no to domestic violence, bullying, hate crimes, and other issues that often go unheard. This year’s theme is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” which aims to promote and highlight the importance of collaborative action by individuals from all segments of society in order to create world peace.
World Peace Day: How did it start?
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by a resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly. The day was first celebrated on the 21st of September 1982. The theme of the year was the Right to peace of people. In 2001, September 21st was also made the day of global ceasefire and non-violence. Today many states and nations, military groups, political groups, faith-based organizations, and non-governmental organizations celebrate World Peace Day which was founded in order to commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace.
Celebrating World Peace Day
People around the world organize different activities each year to celebrate this Day. It is officially inaugurated by the ringing of the United Nations Peace Bell at its headquarters in New York. This bell was donated by United Nations Association of Japan in 1954. The bell is cast by coins donated by delegates of sixty nations. There is a Japanese inscription on the side of the bell that translates into “Long live absolute world peace.”
The UN Postal Administration has released many commemorative stamps. There are also international poster competitions, art exhibitions, events where doves – the symbol of peace – are released, peace walks, peace choirs, tree planting, etc. Many religious and spiritual groups organize an International Day of Peace Vigil on the 21st of September – “24 hour spiritual observations for peace and non-violence”. Many groups and individuals also observe a minute of silence at noon (all time zones).
Even though there is a special Day for celebrating world peace and non-violence, it is important to work towards these ideals every single day of the year. An initiative taken by a single individual to stop an act of violence – whether it is in the domestic sphere, or whether it is in a school where a student is being bullied – can go a long way. World Peace Day is only a small but important part of the ideal future that we envision. Building peace, ultimately, is more important than celebrating it.
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