Commonwealth Day

Each year on 24th May, Commonwealth Day is commemorated. Commonwealth Day is observed on the birthday of Queen Victoria of England, who was born on 24th May, 1819, and is observed by all countries which were once a colony of the British Empire. Commonwealth Day is observed on various dates all across the globe. On the 2nd Monday of March, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada commemorate the day. On the other hand, on 24th May, India, alongside countries such as Belize, commemorates Commonwealth Day. Every year, the Commonwealth Day has a theme, and the day is commemorated in such a way that it honours and instils that theme in the United Kingdom as well as in the rest of the Commonwealth.

The topic can be asked as a Current Affairs Question in IAS Prelims and Mains.

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History of Commonwealth Day

Following the year of 1916, Commonwealth Day was renamed as Empire Day to commemorate the birth of Queen Victoria. Lord Meath expanded the observance of Empire Day to include all Commonwealth countries in the year of 1916. As a result, it became a significant historical event. In the year of 1958, Harold Macmillan, the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, declared in the British Parliament that Empire Day would be renamed Commonwealth Day. The Commonwealth and the United Kingdom have a common history, as well as cultural ties, legal systems, and business procedures. Commonwealth Day will be marked on the second Monday in March in all Commonwealth countries, according to the Commonwealth Secretariat.

List of Current Affairs Articles for UPSC

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Note: IAS exam could ask basic facts about this topic as it holds international as well as domestic importance.

Significance

According to a 1916 dated article, Commonwealth Day is “a symbol of unity of emotion to those ideas of freedom, justice, as well as tolerance for which the British Empire stood for across the globe.” When it was known as Empire Day, the ideals of the day included reminding all children that they were a member of the British Empire. The children should also think like people from other countries. They must also understand what it’s like to be the Empire’s sons and daughters.

To get the list of important national and international days and dates for UPSC preparation, visit the linked article.

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