Commonwealth Day around the world in 2020

Commonwealth Day around the world in 2020
  How long until Commonwealth Day?
This holiday next takes place in 143 days.
  Dates of Commonwealth Day around the world
2021 Various Mar 8
British Virgin IslandsMon, Mar 8National Holiday
GibraltarMon, Mar 8National Holiday
Turks and Caicos IslandsMon, Mar 8National Holiday
2020 Various Mar 9
British Virgin IslandsMon, Mar 9National Holiday
GibraltarMon, Mar 9National Holiday
Turks and Caicos IslandsMon, Mar 9National Holiday
2019 Various Mar 11
British Virgin IslandsMon, Mar 11National Holiday
GibraltarMon, Mar 11National Holiday
Turks and Caicos IslandsMon, Mar 11National Holiday
2018 Various Mar 12
GibraltarMon, Mar 12National Holiday
Turks and Caicos IslandsMon, Mar 12National Holiday
2017 Various Mar 13
GibraltarMon, Mar 13National Holiday
Turks and Caicos IslandsMon, Mar 13National Holiday
Originally known as Empire Day, this holiday marked Queen Victoria's birthday
  Which countries observe Commonwealth Day in 2020?
British Virgin Islands  British Virgin IslandsMar 9National Holiday
Gibraltar  GibraltarMar 9National Holiday
Turks and Caicos Islands  Turks and Caicos IslandsMar 9National Holiday

When is Commonwealth Day?

Commonwealth Day is a moveable holiday celebrating the British Commonwealth.

Commonwealth Day is celebrated on the second Monday in March. Only two (Gibraltar and Turks and Caicos Islands) of the 53 member countries celebrate Commonwealth Day as a national holiday.

History of Commonwealth Day

At the end of the nineteenth century, when the British Empire was arguably at its peak, Empire Day was established in Canada. The holiday was held on the last school day before Queen Victoria's birthday, 24th May.

Following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, the holiday grew in popularity across the empire. The horrors of the First World War changed how the holiday should be celebrated, with it becoming more a day of remembrance.

With the surge for independence from the empire in the late 1950s, the British prime minister Harold MacMillan announced that Empire Day would be changed to Commonwealth Day. In 1976, the date of the holiday was switched to the Second Monday in March. This date was chosen as no Commonwealth country had a public holiday on that day and almost all countries had school terms.

The Commonwealth was founded on 11 December 1931.

Did you know?

In Canada, Empire Day became Victoria Day and remains a public holiday celebrated on the Monday before 25th May.

The day is marked by a Commonwealth Service held at Westminster Abbey in London.

Every year a specific theme is chosen for Commonwealth Day. The 2019 theme is 'A Connected Commonwealth' which highlights the co-operation between the culturally diverse family of nations who work together in friendship.

As the Commonwealth Charter, explains "international peace and security, sustainable economic growth and development and the rule of law are essential to the progress and prosperity of all".

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