Universal Day of Culture

The Universal Day of Culture is held annually on April 15 to promote the protection of culture, the Roerich Pact and the Banner of Peace. It was proposed by Russian artist Nicholas Roerich, Who, proposed aUniversal Day of Culture as a day which “shall be consecrated to the full appreciation of all national and universal treasures of culture”. According to Roerich, the celebrations had to take place in all schools and educational institutions. In 1933, in his “Prayer for Peace and Culture” Roerich includes churches into this list and specifies that on this day “the world will be reminded of the true treasures of humanity, of creative heroic enthusiasm, of improvement and enhancement of life.”

Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, theosophist Nicholas Roerich (Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerikh (Russian: Никола́й Константи́нович Ре́рих) was born October 9, 1874 in Saint Petersburg, Russia to the family of a well-to-do notary public. He was perceived by some in Russia as an enlightener, philosopher, and public figure, who in his youth was influenced by a movement in Russian society around the occult. He was interested in hypnosis and other spiritual practices and his paintings are said to have hypnotic expression.

He lived in various places around the world until his death in Naggar, Himachal Pradesh, India. Trained as an artist and a lawyer, his main interests were literature, philosophy, archaeology, and especially art. Roerich was a dedicated activist for the cause of preserving art and architecture during times of war. He earned several nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. The so-called Roerich Pact was signed into law by the United States and most nations of the Pan-American Union in Washington on 15 April 1935. He sadly passed away in December 13, 1947 however his influence remains.

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