Global Family Day

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Held on : 1st January

Global Family Day is an international day of peace and sharing celebrated every January 1 by the citizens of the world. It aims at uniting and spreading peace by considering and promoting the idea that - Earth is a one Global Family so as to make world a better place to live for everyone. It is a day where individuals and families share food with friends (especially the needy), make personal pledges of non-violence, and spread a message of peace and sharing by ringing a bells or beating a drum in hopes of making society and the world a united as a family.

History

Sometime around 1970, four children from Public School 84 in Manhattan started talking after school one day about the year 2000, when all people in the world would surely come together in peace and friendship to celebrate and grow closer as a result of the shared celebration. Twenty-five years later that conversation inspired a visionary novel, Tree Island, written by author and former soap head writer Linda Grover, the mother of three of the children. The book in turn motivated Grover to organize a 1998 meeting in Oregon's Cascade Mountains of fifty millennium groups from around the world all dedicated to making the turn of the millennium a turning point for humanity. From the Tree Island Millennium Gathering grew the idea of an annual event for the whole human family marked by the sharing of a “millennium meal." The millennium meal concept was later endorsed by the White House and by representatives of 19 faiths meeting in the Holy Land. Grover, a former Congressional aide, decided to make the establishment of a holiday belonging to all the world's people her life's work. Independently in 1994, high school students at Verde Valley School in Sedona, Arizona decided the whole world ought to observe a day without violence of any kind at the start of the new millennium. The One Day Foundation they formed later supported publication in 22 languages of a book for children visualizing "One Day in Peace January 1, 2000.” It also aided the work of the book's co-author Robert Alan Silverstein, who secured pledges of non-violence for that day by 100 nations and 1000 organizations representing millions of people in 135 countries. Twenty-five U.S. governors, hundreds of mayors worldwide and the United Nations General Assembly also endorsed the One Day in Peace idea.

Global Family Day finally, grew out of the United Nations millennium celebration, "One Day of Peace," January 1, 2000. Many grass roots efforts around the world had independently sprung up to target this milestone as a day for peace, and worked separately to prevail on local governments and the U.N. to establish such a day. As a result, nearly 140 nations were poised to respond to the November 1997 declaration of the U.N. General Assembly that the first year of the new millennium should launch an "International Decade for the Culture of Peace & Non violence for the Children of the World" which would be ushered in by "One Day of Peace." Finally, in November 1999, the U.N. issued a formal invitation for world participation. As the independent grass-roots organizations around the world joined the effort, one notable outcome was a special ceremony between Israeli and Palestinian families, at a refugee camp in Nablus. Later that year, the United States Congress followed the U.N. initiative and unanimously voted to establish the first day of every year as a special time of peace and sharing. (S.Con.Res. 138). In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly established it as a recurring annual event, also recommending that all Member states recognize the new holiday (UNRes. 56/2). To date more than 20 heads of state and many ambassadors have endorsed what has now become known as Global Family Day.

Co-founded by author Linda Grover and Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (chief sponsor of the Martin Luther King holiday), Global Family Day has twice received the unanimous support of the U.S. Congress (S. Con. Res. 138, S. Res. 582, H. Con. Res. 317), the UN General Assembly (Resolutions 54/29 and 56/2), thirty-plus sitting heads of state and ambassadors representing more than 2/3 of the worlds population. Presently, interest in Global Family Day has been revitalized through U.S. Senate resolutions S. Res. 357 and S. Res. 387 urging the people of the United States to observe Global Family Day and One Day of Peace and Sharing and U.S. House of Representatives resolution H. Con. Res. 221, requesting that the President issue a proclamation annually calling upon the people of the United States to observe Global Family Day, One Day of Peace and Sharing, and for other purposes. The first Global family Day celebration was held on January 1, 2000 between Palestinian and Israeli families at a West Bank refugee camp, with subsequent youth led ceremonies at the South Pole in 2001, and in several major cities in 2002.

Events - On this day people share meals especially with the needy, pledge non violence, and celebrate by ringing a bell or beating a drum on the first day of each year. People also donate to various humanitarian relief organization. The organization distributes literature in the form of leaflets, brochures, posters etc to unite, inform, motivate, and connect people, institutions, and governments of the world and through the celebration of this day they spread the message of peace and sharing every January 1 and related year round programs.

Alternate Name - One Day of Peace and Sharing (former name).

Holiday Status - It is not a Public Holiday.

Important days in January
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