(Also known as Empire Day)
Commonwealth Day is observed next on Monday, March 11th, 2024 (161 days from today).
History of Commonwealth Day
Although having around 2 billion participants worldwide, Commonwealth Day was originally called "Empire Day", established in 1902 in honor of Queen Victoria. After the death of Queen Victoria, the idea was established a holiday honoring England, the unity of the Commonwealth of Nations, and its ideals of freedom, tolerance and justice.
Real Empire Day was not officially recognized until 1916, after being celebrated informally in Canada for 14 years. It took more 10 years for it to really become popular, i.e. in 1925 an Empire Day Thanksgiving celebration had around 90,000 attendants at Wembley Stadium.
In 1958, then Prime Minister Harold MacMillan renamed Empire Day to Commonwealth Day. This is because all Commonwealths share a common history, legal system, culture and more. In 1973, the Royal Commonwealth Association proposed to change Commonwealth Day to the second Monday in March.
In today's post-colonial world, there are many debates about the ethics of the Commonwealth. While some countries still consider it an important and honorable piece of history, and others even still identify the Queen of England as their monarch, there is growing debate over whether it is a holiday matters or not.
However, Commonwealth Day is still celebrated by many countries with enthusiasm. Several countries in the Commonwealth celebrate Commonwealth Day as a holiday. Parties and other festivals are held, delicious food is cooked and flags are raised. Commonwealth Day is an opportunity for everyone to see the service at Westminster Abbey, attend and hear the Queen's address, and feel proud of historic unity.
Why Commonwealth Day is important?
- It was an important historical day
At first, Commonwealth Day has originated form Empire Day, which honors the life and death of Queen Victoria in 1901. Although it is a great piece of history, Commonwealth Day is even more important historically because it celebrates the historic peace within the Commonwealth, and all the mutual benefits they have achieved in the partnership.
- It's an opportunity to show pride in the Commonwealth
While not all states of the Commonwealth consider Commonwealth Day a holiday or even remain loyal to the queen, many are proud to have been part of such a union and are proud. Show your history on this day.
- It's interesting
Every year, billions of people celebrate Commonwealth Day with festivals and delicious food. On top of that, many entertainers and celebrities joined hands to speak in honor of Commonwealth Day, or even at the Commonwealth Day service. Although this day is steeped in tradition and history, it is still known to be very interesting.
How to celebrate Commonwealth Day
- See services of Westminster Abbey
Commonwealth Day is famous at Westminster Abbey with the attention of the Queen of England. It was televised and followed by the Queen's speech to the various states, as she was the Head of the Commonwealth.
- Learn its history
Commonwealth Day is of great historical importance to a significant portion of the global population. However, if you've only just heard about it, then you should read on! Consider its history as Empire Day and understand why so many countries are proud to be part of such a union.
- Attend a street party or parade
There are Commonwealth festivals all over the world, so as long as it's safe where you are, get out and find a place to celebrate! Many people celebrate by eating delicious food, partying and raising flags to show their pride.
ObservedCommonwealth Day has been observed the second Monday in March.
Monday, March 14th, 2022
Monday, March 13th, 2023
Monday, March 11th, 2024
Monday, March 10th, 2025
Monday, March 9th, 2026