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International Mountain Day

The year 2002 was the International Year of Mountains. As this year drew to a close, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly proclaimed December 11 to be International Mountain Day. This observance, which is celebrated annually, aims to draw attention to the important roles that mountainous regions play in water and food supply.

International Mountain Day commemorates the role in which mountains play in providing food, water, and recreation.

©iStockphoto.com/Joseph Jean

What Do People Do?

Various activities are organized on and around International Mountain Day. These aim to increase awareness of and knowledge around the role of mountains and mountainous regions amongst the general population and professionals. Particular examples of events are: book fairs; symposia; themed lectures for students; workshops and press events. Mountaineering and explorations societies may hold lectures and social events on or around December 11.

Public Life

International Mountain Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The International Year of Mountains was held in 2002 and with the aim of raising awareness and triggering action on issues relating to sustainable mountain development. The leading agency was the Food and Agriculture Organization. The International Year of Mountains was launched at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York on December 11, 2001.

On December 20, 2002, as the International Year of Mountains drew to a close, the UN designated December 11 as International Mountain Day and encouraged the international community to organize events to highlight the importance of sustainable mountain development on this date. International Mountain Day was first observed on December 11, 2003. Each year International Mountain Day has a particular theme. Previous themes have focused on freshwater, peace, biodiversity or climate change.

Symbols

The symbol of International Mountain Day consists of three equilateral triangles, each orientated with two points on a single imaginary horizontal line and one point directed upwards. The triangles are mainly black and represent mountains. The triangle on the left has a blue "diamond" shape at the top, representing ice or snow at the top of a mountain. The middle triangle has an orange circle at its center, representing resources that are mined from inside mountains. The triangle on the right has a small green triangle at its lower right-hand point.

This represents the crops that grow on mountains. Under the three triangles is a black stripe containing the words "11 December" and the words "International Mountain Day" in two shades of United Nations' use of the color blue. The symbol of International Mountain Day is based on the symbol for the International Year of Mountains (2002).

International Mountain Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015FriDec 11International Mountain DayUnited Nations observance
2016SunDec 11International Mountain DayUnited Nations observance
2017MonDec 11International Mountain DayUnited Nations observance
2018TueDec 11International Mountain DayUnited Nations observance
2019WedDec 11International Mountain DayUnited Nations observance
2020FriDec 11International Mountain DayUnited Nations observance
2021SatDec 11International Mountain DayUnited Nations observance
2022SunDec 11International Mountain DayUnited Nations observance
2023MonDec 11International Mountain DayUnited Nations observance
2024WedDec 11International Mountain DayUnited Nations observance
2025ThuDec 11International Mountain DayUnited Nations observance

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