Commonwealth Day is an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of the Commonwealth's organisations, which aim to improve the lives of its citizens.
It is celebrated on the second Monday in March every year because on that day every young person in the Commonwealth would be in school. It started because in 1975 Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada proposed that a "simultaneously observed Commonwealth Day would focus attention upon the association and its contribution to a harmonious global environment."
Every Commonwealth Day has a theme which is celebrated throughout the year, with special events taking place during the week of Commonwealth Day.
The theme for 2012 is 'Connecting Cultures'. Celebrating the different cultures that make up the 54 countries of the Commonwealth. Some of the themes in recent years have been:
- 2011 Women as agents of change
- 2010 Science, Technology and Society
- 2009 The Commonwealth @ 60: Serving a New Generation
- 2008 The Environment - Our Future
- 2007 Respecting Difference, Promoting Understanding
- 2006 Health and Vitality