World Theatre Day is celebrated annually on 27th March by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) and the international theatre community and to mark the occasion Various national and international theatre events are organized. One of the most important of these is the circulation of the World Theatre Day International Message through which at the invitation of ITI, a figure of world stature shares his or her reflections on the theme of Theatre and a Culture of Peace
The first World Theatre Day International Message was written by Jean Cocteau (France) in 1962. And It was in Vienna at the 9th World Congress of the ITI in June 1961 that President Arvi Kivimaa proposed on behalf of the Finnish Centre of the International Theatre Institute that a World Theatre Day be instituted. Ever since, each year on the 27th March, World Theatre Day has been celebrated in many and varied ways by ITI National Centres throughout the world. Each year an important figure who has made a valuable contribution to either theatre or another field, is invited to share his or her reflections on theatre and international harmony. This International Message is then translated into more than 20 languages, read for tens of thousands of spectators before performances in theatres throughout the world and printed in hundreds of daily newspapers, with more than a hundred radio and television stations transmitting the Message to listeners in all corners of the globe.