International Day of Peace

“It is not enough to teach children how to read, write and count. Education has to cultivate mutual respect for others and the world in which we live, and help people forge more just, inclusive and peaceful societies.” ~UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Often known as Peace Day, the International Day of Peace is observed globally on September 21 – a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace within nations. The International Day of Peace was established by the United Nations in 1982 – a day of ceasefire, both personal and political.

The theme for International Day of Peace 2015 is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All”. The philosophy behind this year’s theme is to acknowledge the importance of all segments of society working together to strive for peace.

The most commonly used symbol for International Day of Peace is the dove flying with an olive branch in its beak. The white dove is considered a sign for peace in various religions including Christianity, Islam, Judaism to name a few. The olive branch also has a significance representing ‘hope for peace’ or in other words a peace offering from one person to another. In fact, the dove in flight acts as a ‘messenger of peace’.

There are numerous ways of celebrating the International Day of Peace, the most common being a part of events centered on the theme of peace. Each year, the world witnesses multifarious activities such as interfaith peace ceremonies, peace choirs, peace walks, lighting candles, peace prayers, peace convoys, tree plantations, art exhibitions promoting peace and much more.

Since we are an integral part of this world, it is incumbent on each one of us to take the ownership of this world and spread the message of peace in our own individual capacity. No matter who we are, which language we speak and where we live, let’s ensure to mark this day and celebrate peace this year and the years ahead.



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