Nelson Mandela Day 2022: when is international celebration, is it a public holiday, why people say 67 minutes?

The theme of this year’s Nelson Mandela Day is ‘do what you can, with what you have, where you are’

Celebrations are taking place around the world to mark Nelson Mandela Day.

The event, which honours the achievements of the anti-apartheid leader takes place every year in July.

Nelson Mandela spent his life fighting against aparthied and served 27-years in prison before becoming South Africa’s first Black President.

In honour of the day, Prince Harry will give an address at the United Nations (UN) celebration and is expected to speak about the civil rights leader’s lasting legacy.

Here’s everything you need to know about Nelson Mandela Day.

Who was Nelson Mandela?

Mandela is seen as the father of modern South Africa.

Nelson Mandela Day addressing a crowd in Tokoza on 5 September, 1990 (Pic: AFP via Getty Images)

The anti-aparthied leader was born in 1918 and spent his life campaigning against the segregated and colonial system that saw white South Africans have more rights than Black South Africans.

Mandela would spend 27 years in three different prisons throughout his fight for human rights.

The most famous jail was Robben Island where he spent 18 years.

Mandela was released from prison in 1990 and spent the next four years negotiating the end of the apathied system with then President F. W. de Klerk.

In 1994 at the age of 77-years-old, Mandela became the first Black President of South Africa.

When is Nelson Mandela Day?

Nelson Mandela Day is celebrated every year on 18 July, the same day as Mandela’s birthday.

The civil rights campaigner would have been 104-years-old if he was still alive today.

What is Nelson Mandela Day?

Nelson Mandela Day was set up by the UN General Assembly in November 2009, with the first day being held on 18 July 2010.

It was created as an international day to honour Mandela’s achievements and legacy as the founding father of peace in South Africa.

But it’s not just a day of celebration, the key theme of Mandela Day is the tradition of carrying out community service or volunteering with those in need.

Every year the UN marks the occasion with a conference in New York to honour the anti-apathied leader.

This year’s event will see Prince Harry give an address, reflecting on Mandela’s life and legacy.

South Africa’s UN delegation said Prince Harry’s talk “will be around the memories and legacy of Mandela and what has been learned from his struggle and his life that can help us face the new challenges in the world today”.

After Mandela’s death in 2014, the UN introduced the Nelson Mandela Prize for those who dedicate their lives to serving humanity.

Is it a public holiday?

Nelson Mandela Day is not a public holiday, not even in South Africa.

The day is marked in Mandela’s home country through volunteering and community service, emphasising the importance of the human rights campaigners message of community.

Why do people say 67 minutes on Mandela Day?

On Nelson Mandela Day people are encouraged to spend 67 minutes volunteering their time to help their community.

The 67 minutes represent the 67 years that Mandela spent fighting against apartheid.

The theme of this year’s Mandela Day is: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

This year’s focus will be highlighting the growing issues of food insecurity and impact of climate change on communities around the world.