Our ancestors have given us a rich cultural past, and their efforts to preserve our heritage shouldn’t go in vain. World Heritage Day is celebrated to spread awareness of our rich cultural diversity and the importance of preserving our ancient heritage. The purpose of celebrating this date is to share an important message to the younger generations to carry forward their legacy and preserve our culture.
When is World Heritage Day?
Every year, World Heritage Day is observed on 18 April. It is an internationally recognised day to preserve monuments and historical sites and rich inheritance associated with them. The way we live tells a lot about our culture.
But one particular day that is entirely dedicated to the collaborative chronicles of the human race and culture is much needed. The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) has done tremendous work in this regard, and it is a true celebration of their efforts too.
We as humans need to respect the diversity in our cultural offerings and preserve them for future generations to come. The ancient historical monuments are not just a living wonder but speak volumes of history and fascinating ancient lives.
Protecting these assets for many more years into the future is impossible through a single individual or group. Community participation and global awareness can change things for the better and help preserve our rich and varied culture across the world.
Why World Heritage Day is Celebrated on 18th April?
The year 1982 was a significant year for recognizing the efforts of ICOMOS. The suggestion rolled out by ICOMOS to globally celebrate World Heritage Day on 18th April finally took shape in 1982. The pending approval in front of UNESCO was finally sanctioned during the 22nd General Conference.
Some of the vital findings by ICOMOS during the stage of approval were to garner solidarity on international terms in tasks of strengthening and protecting global heritage sites. The Venice Charter, also known as the 1964 International Charter on conservation and restoration of monuments and sites, is the guiding spirit behind the establishment of ICOMOS.
Additionally, the International Council of Mountains and Sights stepped next to a proposal straight away to celebrate World Heritage Day in 1982. This took solid shape during an important seminar in Tunisia. With all these efforts in hindsight, finally, in November 1983, the 22nd conference of UNESCO passed an ultimate resolution, and from then on, International Day for Monuments and Sites has been in celebration on April 18th every year.
What is the theme of World Heritage Day 2024?
The World Heritage Day 2024 theme is “Heritage Changes“. Let’s look at some of the interesting past year themes. We find out that they have a close association with an appreciation of artistic hands, traditions, and cultures, with an imbibed essence of culture blooming in its core. Let’s look at some of the previous year themes here:
- The World Heritage Day 2022 was “Heritage and Climate”
- “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures” was the theme for the year 2021.
- The theme for World Heritage Day 2020 was “Shared cultures, shared heritage and shared responsibility”. In the dawn of the global pandemic COVID-19 outbreak, the theme played an important role in essaying the world health crisis.
- “Rural Landscapes” was the vibrant theme for 2019 that brought global unity to the fore. The connectivity of a place with its landscapes and communities was the central point of interest in this particular year.
- “Heritage for Generations” was the theme for the year 2018. The theme pleads to future generations to protect monuments and learn more about preserving our cultural heritage through learning and education.
- “Cultural heritage and sustainable tourism” for the year 2017 in lieu of the agenda set for the year 2030. It aims to renew our living conditions based on the context of sustainable development goals.
- “Heritage of Sports” was the theme for the year 2016. The year recognised cultural legacies globally and helped humanity develop different sport skills right from prehistoric times.
How to Celebrate World Heritage Day 2024?
The glorious past has much to add to the beautiful treasures of world cultures. Kids can be made aware of World Heritage day through recreational activities in school. It could include storytelling sessions, visits to monuments and heritage sites in India, organizing essay & speech writing competitions, drawing & poster making design, photography contests of ancient heritage monuments, conducting heritage festivals, telecasting movies with messages of culture and traditions.
Communities can post images, collect great information and prepare videos on ways to preserve our cultural past. We can encourage community participation within our respective countries and spread messages to our families and friends via social media using hashtags. Expert talks, webinars, and podcasts on heritage concerned topics could be a wonderful celebration idea. Discussions and virtual tours about famous monumental sites could be an amazing thing to do!
What is a World Heritage Site?
A landmark site of cultural and natural importance as recognised by UNESCO and offered special care and preservation is termed world heritage sites. Additionally, these sites own global appraise in universal recognition and are of immense value to humanity and its rich cultural legacy.
In essence, world heritage sites belong to all world citizens, are not limited by territories or locations and backed by lawsuits for protection through international treaties. These sites are the elements of protection, recognition and risk, portray diversities in geological and biological landscapes and are of interest to the global political communities.
Most Popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Around the world, these supernatural legendary sites have amusing stories to tell humanity. The top ones are:
- Bagan in Myanmar, which has more than 2200 temples lined up amidst the lush green misty landscapes.
- Sintra in Portugal for its marvellous life-size gardens with tropical flowering beds and charismatic fortresses.
- Venice in Italy is the perfect picturesque location for exploring the never-ending floating cities and the famous gondola strolls.
- Colosseum in Italy has the world’s largest amphitheatre offering a mystique understanding of its mind-blowing ancient past.
- The Vatican City in Rome’s central district is home to some of the splendid architectural marvels and sculptures that define art.
- Cinque Terre in Italy is known for its beautiful natural landscapes that house multicoloured mansions, scintillating coastlines and marine oceans.
- Ksar, the Moroccan village known for constructing buildings exclusively from mud and for its natural desert wonder during moonlight.
- For its unique palace designs and artistic showcases, Istanbul in Turkey bridges the cultural and religious diversities between Asia and Europe.
- Rock Sites in Turkey where tourists can enjoy caves, a night full of gazing stars and most of all, a place that we can hardly believe ever exists!
- The Great Wall of China, for its impeccable structure of the gigantic wall, spans more than 20,000 kilometers.
Quotes & Slogans on World Heritage Day 2024
- Cultural heritage and diversity are prized ornaments of humanity.
- Our monuments are a beautiful reflection of our ancient cultural roots.
- The pride of every heritage can be glorified when we preserve their identities.
- Our aesthetic legacies define our national identity and cultural richness.
- Monuments speak volumes of our values and connect us directly to our roots.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is National Heritage Day?
April 18 is annually celebrated as Heritage Day on lines of global celebration as World Heritage day. The day focuses on celebrating the world’s greatest architectural sculptures and spreading awareness of the rich culture and diversity of human heritage.
2. What is World Heritage Week?
World Heritage week is a special celebration in India carried out by the ASI [Archaeological Survey of India]. Every year 19th to 25th of November, is especially dedicated to the country’s natural heritage marvels, and awareness about the preservation of national monuments is created among the general public.
3. How many World Heritage Sites are there in Nepal?
There are four world heritage sites in Nepal: Chitwan National Park, Sagarmatha National Park, Kathmandu valley with seven sites, and Lumbini.
4. Which country has the most UNESCO World Heritage?
China has the most number of UNESCO world heritage sites. The total number of heritage sites is 55 in number, the highest count ever.
5. Which city is known as the heritage city of India?
Ahmedabad has been declared as the heritage city of India. UNESCO has recognised the heritage value of the 600 year ancient walled city built by Ahmed Shah.
6. Who started Heritage Day?
Nelson Mandela declared in the year 1996 that a global celebration to spread awareness of India’s rich and varied culture needs to be recognized.
7. How many World Heritage Sites are there in the world?
The World Heritage list has recognised 252 natural sites as world heritage sites. This includes 213 exclusive sites and 39 mixed sites.