Mountain Day is a traditional student celebration which includes cancellation of classes without any prior notice, and the student body moves to the mountains or a park.
Usually Mountain Day is observed on a beautiful, crisp day when the fall foliage is in full color. Most often Mountain Day is observed at educational institutions in the Northeastern U.S. The history of Mountain Day celebrations can be traced back to at least 1838, when the students of Mount Holyoke College headed off to Mount Holyoke. In1877 Smith College declared its Mountain Day. Juniata College adopted it as Mountain Day in 1896. Williams College students have been climbing Mount Greylock, the highest mountain in Massachusetts, as part of Mountain Day celebrations. International Mountain Day is held annually on 11th Dec. It is established by the UN General Assembly in 2003. The UN motivates events organized at all levels for the sustainable development in mountains.
One-quarter of the territory of most of the countries of the world is in the mountains. Over 50% of the world’s population depends on natural water from the mountains. Mountains are a source of high-quality natural products, rich agro-biodiversity, habitats for rare and endangered flora and fauna, and resources for tourism and recreation. Global warming started seriously affecting the mountain ecosystem goods and services, especially water, biodiversity, and atmospheric circulation. This indicates the urgent need to raise awareness and promote policy actions to ensure the critical contribution of mountain ecosystems.
Mountain Day celebrations include events that highlight the Critical Role of Mountain Ecosystems for Climate Adaptation and Sustainable Development. A high-level panel assembled for the celebration will highlight the value of mountains and their role in climate change adaptation and sustainable development.
The Mountain Day, a collaborative and partnership-based event is sponsored by The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and GIZ. The supporting organisations include the Mountain Partnership based at FAO, UNEP, and the World Bank. The Governments of Italy, Switzerland, and Nepal began to support this event. Mountain Day celebrations look forward to see more concerted and long-term actions at the national, regional, and global levels to save vital mountain ecosystems.