World Heritage Day is celebrated on April 18 to raise awareness about heritage sites and their importance as cultural markers. Heritage symbolises cultures, traditions, hierarchical ideologies, objects, monuments, and activities being carried out for ages. World Heritage Day is the perfect occasion to visit heritage sites near you and appreciate them.
World Heritage Day is also known as International Day for Monuments and Sites and is observed around the world. We have shared more details about this day, its theme, history, and significance in this article.
World Heritage Day 2023
To celebrate the variety of heritage sites around the globe on World Heritage Day, International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) encourages celebrating the cultural heritage and a range of the world's monuments and heritage sites on the 18th of April every year.
Go through the overview of Heritage Day shared here to know more about this day.
World Heritage Day
April 18 (every year)
ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites)
World Heritage Day 2023 Theme
To raise awareness about heritage sites, their history and their importance
World Heritage Day 2023 Theme
The theme of World Heritage Day 2023 is “Heritage Changes”. This theme highlights the contribution of volunteers in helping maintain heritage sites around the world. Every year, a new theme is announced on World Heritage Day.
This year’s World Heritage Day theme revolves around the changes caused to heritage sites due to climate change. The theme aims to explore climate change through the lens of cultural heritage.
Heritage Day - What are Heritage Sites?
Heritage sites are sites of historical or cultural significance. Three types of heritage sites are celebrated during World Heritage Day, given as follows.
- Cultural Heritage Sites: These include historical buildings, paintings, art, and work of monumental importance. Some examples of cultural heritage sites are the Taj Mahal, Lotus temple, etc.
- Natural Heritage Sites: These include natural areas that show unique pieces of Earth's record of life and examples of ecological and biological evolutionary processes. The Western Ghats is an example of a Natural Heritage Site.
- Mixed Heritage Sites: These consist of a mix of both cultural as well as natural heritage sites. In India, there is only one Mixed heritage site as mentioned below.
World Heritage Day Monuments
On Heritage Day, you should be aware of the heritage sites in India. There are around 3691 protected monuments and sites in our country, including 40 heritage properties under UNESCO and 50 museums and sites. We have shared a list of some of the heritage sites in India below.
World Heritage Day - List of Heritage Sites
Heritage Site in India
Type of Site
Konark Sun Temple
Great Himalayan National Park
Kaziranga National Park
Ajanta and Ellora Caves
Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
Khangchendzonga National Park
Kerala, Tamil Nadu
History of Heritage Day
The history of World Heritage Day can be traced back to 1982, when ICOMOS proposed April 18 as the International Day for Monuments and Sites. This event was followed by UNESCO's adoption of Heritage Day during its 22nd General Conference in 1983.
The ICOMOS organization was created based on the principles in the Venice Charter, also known as the 1964 International Charter on the conservation and restoration of monuments and sites. Since then ICOMOS provides a different theme annually to celebrate World Heritage Day and educate the world about the same.
Significance of World Heritage Day
The idea behind World Heritage Day is to educate people about why heritage sites are of so much value. Here are all the reasons why Heritage Day is considered significant.
- World Heritage Day provides a platform for people of diverse natures, livelihoods, and cultures to come together and share information about their history, traditions, monuments, and sites.
- Heritage Day is the perfect time to promote co-habitation and preserve human heritage, diversity, and vulnerability of natural and man-made monuments and sites.
- World Heritage Day throws light on the present condition of heritage sites around the world and raises alarm about the need to preserve them.
FAQs on World Heritage Day
Q1. When is World Heritage Day celebrated?
World Heritage Day is celebrated on April 18 to raise awareness about heritage sites and their value and historical and cultural markers. World Heritage Day was established in 1982 and is recognized by the United Nations as a day of international significance.
Q2. What is World Heritage Day 2023 theme?
World Heritage Day 2023 theme is “Heritage Changes”. This theme highlights the contribution of volunteers in helping maintain heritage sites around the world. Every year, a new theme is announced on World Heritage Day by ICOMOS.
Q3. Why do we celebrate World Heritage Day?
We celebrate World Heritage Day to remind people of the cultural, historical and religious importance of heritage sites. World Heritage Day also raises awareness about the diversity of heritage around the world.
Q4. Why is April 18 celebrated as World Heritage Day?
April 18 is celebrated as World Heritage Day because on 18 April 1982, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) proposed the establishment of International Day for Monuments and Sites at the General Assembly of UNESCO.
Q5. Who started World Heritage Day and when was it first celebrated?
The General Assembly of UNESCO started World Heritage Day and it was celebrated for the first time in 1983. The idea of Heritage Day, or International Day for Monuments and Sites, was shared with the General Assembly by ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites).
Q6. How is World Heritage Day in India celebrated?
World Heritage Day is celebrated in India because the country is home to a number of heritage sites. Here is how people celebrate Heritage Day in India:
- By visiting popular heritage sites.
- By gaining and sharing knowledge about heritage sites and their importance.
- By volunteering for organizations that work for the preservation of heritage sites.
Q7. What was the theme for the World Heritage Day Celebrated in 2022?
The theme for World Heritage Day 2022 was “Heritage and Climate.” Each year, the ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) announces a new theme for Heritage Day.