Thursday, 10 April 2014
Arbor Day (from the Latin arbor, meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Today, many countries observe a this holiday. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season.
First Arbor Day in the world
The small Spanish village of Villanueva de la Sierra is the town where was held the first Arbor Day around the world, a initiative launched in 1805 by the local priest with the enthusiastic support of the entire population. While Napoleon was ravaging Europe with his ambition in this village in the Sierra de Gata lived a priest, don Ramón Vacas Roxo, which, according to the chronicles, "convinced of the importance of trees for health, hygiene, decoration, nature, environment and customs, decides to plant trees and give a festive air. The festival began on Carnival Tuesday with the ringing of two bells of the church, and the Middle and the Big.
After the Mass, and even coated with church ornaments, don Ramón, accompanied by clergies, teachers and a large number of neighbours, planted the first tree, a poplar, in the place known as Valley of the Ejido. Tree plantations continued by Arroyada and Fuente de la Mora. Afterwards, there was a feast, and did not miss the dance. The party and plantations lasted three days. He drafted a manifesto in defence of the trees that was sent to surrounding towns to spread the love and respect for nature, and also he advised to make tree plantations in their localities.
—Miguel Herrero Uceda, Arbor Day
Van Mahotsav is an annual pan-Indian tree planting festival, occupying a week in the month of July. During this event millions of trees are planted. It was initiated in 1950 by K. M. Munshi, the then Union Minister for Agriculture and Food to create an enthusiasm in the mind of the populace for the conservation of forests and planting of trees. The name Van Mahotsava (the festival of trees) originated in July 1947 after a successful tree-planting drive was undertaken in Delhi, in which national leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad and Abdul Kalam Azad participated. Paryawaran Sachetak Samiti, a leading environmental organization conducts mass events & concrete activities on this special day celebration each year. The week was simultaneously celebrated in a number of states in the country.
Arbor day is also celebratd in many countries around the world: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cambodia, Canada, Central African Republic, Czech Republic, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Republic of Macedonia, Malawi, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela.