International Day of Yoga is celebrated annually on 21 June since its foundation in 2015 and declaration by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Why is International Day of Yoga celebrated?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the date to be 21 June because it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has importance in many other parts of the world besides India. Celebrating this fosters global health, peace and harmony.
PM Modi in September of 2014 addressed the UN assembly and discussed the essence of Yoga.
The theme for 2019’s International Yoga Day is ‘Climate Action’. The topics in the previous years included ‘Yoga for the Heart’, ‘Peace and Harmony’, ‘Health and Connecting the Youth’.
The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.
Today, it is practised in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity. The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practising yoga. The fifth annual International Day of Yoga will be celebrated at the United Nations on Thursday, 20 June 2019, with “Yoga with Gurus,” followed by a panel discussion on 21 June.
The 1st International Yoga Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm around the world but the site at Rajpath, Delhi was highly overwhelming. Lakhs of people gathered to celebrate this day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with several renowned personalities and celebrities from different parts of the world also practised ‘yoga asanas’ together.
The second and third International Yoga Day also saw people participating in huge numbers. A big event was organized in Chandigarh on the occasion of the second International Yoga Day and Lucknow on the third International Yoga Day. Numerous events are held in various parts of India as well as around the world to celebrate the day every year.