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Earth Day Around the World 2009: Celebrations to Inspire You
On April 22, 1970, 20 million people across America marked the first Earth Day, celebrating the planet and peacefully demonstrating their frustration with widespread pollution and environmental degradation. Their powerful display was a catalyst in global environmentalism, and U.S. lawmakers responded by passing the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.
Today over 500 million people in 175 countries participate in Earth Day events each year. We hope these examples of Earth Day activities around the world inspire the way you celebrate this important day — and the choices you make every day of the year as an Earth citizen. Also check out Earth Day Network, where you can search for Earth Day events in your own little corner of the world.
The World Dhammakaya Centre in Thailand is celebrating Earth Day by gathering more than 100,000 Buddhist monks from 30,000 temples around Thailand at its temple north of Bangkok. All share a goal to promote world peace through inner peace. PraRajpavanavisuth, the Abbot of Dhammakaya Temple, is welcoming the other monks and leading a mass meditation. This year, the event is followed by the sacred tradition of the casting of the final set of 300,000 personal Buddha statues at the Grand Meditation Stadium.
Cities all across Canada are celebrating Earth Day by advocating collective environmentalism. Museums, parks, schools and community groups throughout the region are offering programs to help citizens be more eco-friendly in their daily lives. Related events include the Earth Day Festival in Edmonton, Alberta; a Recycling Awareness seminar in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan; a Plant-a-Tree Campaign in Kawartha Lakes, Ontario; an Earth Day Extravaganza in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia; and spring cleanups and greenups in dozens of locations in most provinces.
The annual Monaco Earth Day Swim is a 2.5km, open-water swim in the Mediterranean. Participants help raise money for causes that support the environment and receive an olive tree upon completion. Check it out to find out what the green balloons are for!
The eclectic 14th annual Fira per La Terra (Fair for the Earth) takes place at the Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona, Spain. This two-day outdoor celebration the weekend before Earth Day features eco-friendly products; artisans, dancing, singing, and music; and discussions on topics such as health, alternative therapies, personal growth, fair commerce, ecology, and composting. Other highlights include the “ORIGENS” visual arts concert, Afro-Cuban and Native American dances, the Forum on Sustainable Energy, and a seminar on mind, body and spiritual harmony.
By presidential proclamation, the annual National Park Week coincides with Earth Day every year. From April 18-26, all of the nearly 400 sites in the NPS system hold special events including Earth Day celebrations, guided nature walks, organized cleanups, presentations at local schools, and much more. For a list of events at a national park, historic site, preserve or national monument near you, visit http://www.nps.gov/npweek.
In New York City, the busy Grand Central Terminal hosts a weeklong festival that includes The Giant Earth Images, with inspiring Earth-related artwork by artists such as Andy Warhol and Keith Haring dramatically projected onto two of the north columns in the terminal's main concourse; and EarthFair, a two-day event with live music, educational booths, and organic food.
In honor of Earth Day, organizers of the World Energy Forum chose April 22-24 for the event's dates, held in Bulgaria for the first time. The heads of state of at least 20 countries, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, are expected to attend the meeting of the minds in Sofia, Bulgaria's capital.
Project Green Jungle presents Twearth Day ... a name derived from the combination of "Twitter" and "Earth Day." Followers can use Twitter.com to keep updated on the group's weeklong Earth Day efforts in the jungles of Costa Rica, which will include water-quality tests along the Sixaola River, a species account and biodiversity survey of Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve, and a Beach Cleanup in Puerto Viejo.
Ethiopia, Africa's 10th-largest country in size but second-most populous, is celebrating its first ever Earth Day this year. Citizens will learn how their health and community’s well-being is dependent on the protection of our natural environment, and special events will include panel discussions; an Awareness Fair with presentations by green businesses; and a lecture series at Addis Ababa University.
The ultimate goal is creating a "Green Generation" in Ethiopia that will allow people to advocate for green policies that protect their health and natural environment, protect natural resources, and encourage less wasteful and more healthy lifestyles.