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Commonwealth Day 2022 will be celebrated on Monday, 14 March 2022. It is an annual holiday that falls on the second Monday in March every year. Commonwealth Day is an annual celebration of the 54 countries in the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth countries are found in the Pacific, Africa, Asia, Europe, The Caribbean, and The Americas. The day is marked with a service attended by the British royal family at Westminster Abbey, and much celebration occurs globally in Commonwealth states! It promotes a peaceful global environment and hopes to inspire the Commonwealth states for their future with a yearly address by Queen Elizabeth.
History of Commonwealth Day
Most of the countries in the Commonwealth were previously governed by Britain as part of the British Empire. After the countries declared independence, the Commonwealth was formed. The countries are considered a family that can work together and help each other. Commonwealth Day, formerly known as Empire Day, was established in 1902. After the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, an idea was put forth to establish a holiday that honored England, the unity between nations of the Commonwealth, and its ideals of freedom, tolerance, and justice. Even though it was established in1902, it was not officially recognized until 1916 and it gained popularity in1925. In 1958, the then-Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan, rebranded Empire Day as Commonwealth Day because all of the Commonwealth shares history, legal systems, culture, and more. 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.
Interesting Facts about the Commonwealth
- There are over 2 billion people in the Commonwealth.
- Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa were the first countries to join Britain in the Commonwealth.
- India joined the Commonwealth in 1947 after a long struggle for independence.
- 1 out of 3 people on earth are part of the Commonwealth.
- South Africa left the Commonwealth in 1961 and returned in 1994.
- In 1990 Namibia became the first country that was never governed by Britain to join the Commonwealth.
- In 2009 the Commonwealth countries celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth.
- Some members of the Commonwealth were never part of the British Empire.
- The Queen is head of state in only 15 out of the 54 member countries.
Theme of Commonwealth Day 2022
The theme for Commonwealth Day 2022 is based around the theme for the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting – ‘Delivering a Common Future’ – which highlights how the fifty four member countries in the Commonwealth family are ‘innovating, connecting and transforming’ to help achieve goals like fighting climate change, promoting good governance and boosting trade.
Commonwealth Day Celebration
The 2022 Commonwealth celebrations will include virtual events; encouraging the countries of the Commonwealth to work together, achieve common goals, protect our natural resources, and boost trade. Several countries in the Commonwealth celebrate Commonwealth Day as a public holiday. Parties and other festivities are held, good food is cooked, and flags are raised. Many watch the service at Westminster Abbey and listen to the Queen’s address.
As 2022 is the Queen’s Jubilee Year, there will be special focus on the role the Queen plays in the lives of people and communities across the Commonwealth. The Queen takes her role as Head of the Commonwealth seriously and has continually reinforced its importance. Traditionally the Queen is joined by the other senior members of the Royal Family for Commonwealth Day.
Governments and Parliaments of Commonwealth member states and Commonwealth organizations undertake activities, events and discussions on the theme chosen for Commonwealth Day. Schools, governments, Parliaments and communities across the Commonwealth organize events.
Commonwealth Day Quiz
How many states are in the Commonwealth?
Ans: a) 54
Who is the head of the Commonwealth?
a) Queen Elizabeth
b) Prince Charles
c) Robert Mugabe
d) Boris Johnson
Ans: a) Queen Elizabeth
How often are the Commonwealth Games held?
a) Every year
b) Every two years
c) Every three years
d) Every four years
Ans: d) Every four years
How many Commonwealth states recognize Queen Elizabeth as their sovereign?
Ans: d) Sixteen
Which two members are currently suspended from the organization?
a) Zimbabwe and Pakistan
b) Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka
c) Pakistan and India
d) Nigeria and Pakistan
Ans: a) Zimbabwe and Pakistan
In which country was the first British Empire Games held?
b) New Zealand
Ans: c) England
What is the head of the Commonwealth Secretariat called?
b) Secretary General
Ans: b) Secretary General
Which country is the newest member of Commonwealth?
Ans: a) Rwanda
Commonwealth Day is an opportunity for 2.4 billion people across the 54 Commonwealth countries to celebrate their shared Commonwealth values.