Monday, March 07, 2011

What's The Occasion? Commonwealth Day


Commonwealth Day is a little-known observation even within the Commonwealth of Nations, and virtually unknown outside of it; celebrated on the second Monday in March, the day is aimed at uniting the disparate family of nations which owe something of their character to their participation in the former British Empire.

Although not officially observed anywhere in the Commonwealth, in the UK there is a multi-faith service held each year at Westminster Abbey, attended by HM The Queen and the various High Commissioners serving the Court of St. James's; in the years when there is a Commonwealth Games scheduled, the Queen also begins the Queen's Baton Relay in the gardens of Buckingham Palace on this day. The 2010 Commonwealth Games are scheduled to take place from October 3-14 in Delhi, India.

Currently there are 53 voluntary Commonwealth realms, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and of course the UK - the Queen is officially recognized as Head of State in 16 of them.
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