Every year the world recognises International Day of Peace, an occasion dedicated to strengthening the ideals of peace across all nations and between all people. To inaugurate the special ceremony – attended by officials of the UN Secretariat and Representatives of Permanent Missions – the Peace Bell is rung by the UN Secretary-General.
Happy #PeaceDay! Today, #PeaceBell Ceremony was held @UN to commemorate #InternationalDayOfPeace, where @antonioguterres & @UN_PGA rang the bell to remind us to continue to strive for world peace! UN Messengers of #Peace @hrhprincesshaya & Michael Douglas were also in attendance. pic.twitter.com/ixN2sluycn
— Japanese Mission UN (@JapanMissionUN) September 21, 2018
Here are 7 things you need to know about the Peace Bell:
- The Peace Bell was gifted to the UN from the United Nations Association of Japan in 1954.
- The bell is massive! It stands over 3 feet tall and weighs in at 256 pounds.
- Traditionally it is only rung twice a year. On the first day of Spring to symbolise the harmony of nature and rededicate the world’s commitment to peace and care of the Earth. Then again, exactly six months later, on the 21st of September to celebrate the International Day of Peace.
- Representatives from UN Member States and people from over 60 nations around the world (including the Pope and children!) donated coins and medals from which the bell was cast.
- Inscribed on the bell is a message written in Japanese characters: “Long live absolute world peace.”
- When the bell is tolled, it is meant to send a message to all of humanity: “Peace is precious. It is not enough to yearn for peace. Peace requires work — long, hard, difficult work.”
- The bell tower is modelled after the Hanamido and is symbolic of the place Buddha was born in.