April 18th is International Day for Heritage Monuments and Sites, also familiarly known as World Heritage Day! ICOMOS, the International Council for Monuments and Sites first proposed the celebration at the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1983. The goal of World Heritage Day is to celebrate the diversity of the world’s history and heritage, and raise public awareness of the efforts to protect and conserve it. Currently there are World Heritage Day events being held in over 40 countries around the globe!
Below are a number of suggestions on how to celebrate World Heritage Day:
- Visit a local monument or site!
- Watch for articles in newspapers and magazines, as well as on television or radio broadcasts
- Create banners, posters, or other art in town squares or principal traffic arteries calling attention to the day and the preservation of cultural heritage
- Visit artistic exhibitions that celebrate the heritage and culture of your area or create your own (photos, paintings, etc)
- Read books or visit an archive to learn more about heritage monuments or sites in your area
- Look for special release post-cards, stamps, or posters
- Watch for contests awarding prizes to organisations or persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the conservation and promotion of cultural heritage or produced an excellent publication on the subject.
- Look out for special awareness raising activities in schools or youth groups
To help celebrate the day, Heritage Canada — The National Trust asks you to share a photo of a historic place that matters to you by posting it on their Facebook wall or using the hashtag #worldheritageday on Twitter or Instagram.