Commonwealth Day is our annual celebration of the Commonwealth, which is usually held on the second Monday of March. Every year, on that day, Queen Elizabeth II，who is the head of the Commonwealth, delivers a message at Westminster Abbey in London. This is a multi-faith commemoration with representatives from the 53 member states, who have 2.4 billion people in Africa, Asia, Americas and Europe. The Royal Commonwealth Society of Wales is one branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society, headquartered in London.
Commonwealth Day originated from the Empire Day. After the death of Queen Victoria on January 22, 1901, her birthday, 24th May, was named as Empire Day in 1902. During that period, the festival was a symbol of “unity of feelings.” However, after 1973, Commonwealth Day was changed to the current date (the second Monday of March each year). Today, this festival celebrates the values of democracy, equality and peace in the Commonwealth with its citizens.
Commonwealth Day Theme in 2019
In 2019 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Commonwealth in its current formation. This year the Commonwealth Day was held on 11th March with the theme “A Connected Commonwealth”, encouraging cooperation to protect natural resources and the environment. This continues the work of the Commonwealth Blue Charter established in 2018, connecting and protecting the oceans of various member states. Meanwhile, in accordance with the Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment, cooperation has been strengthened to enhance inclusive economic empowerment, enabling all people, especially women, young people and marginalized communities, through sharing progress and prosperity. On 11th March this year, the 53 member states organized activities to celebrate the history and values that bind them together, including faith and civic gatherings, debates, school assemblies, flag raising ceremonies, street parties and plenty of cultural events.
Come back for our next post tomorrow, which will tell you all about how we celebrated Commonwealth Day 2019 in Cardiff.
Take a look at the BBC coverage of the 2019 service: