• Audience versions of this page: Family

    On the second Monday in March (March 8 is the earliest it can fall), members of the Commonwealth of Nations celebrate Commonwealth Day. Commonwealth Day is not a public holiday in most places, but schools and government agencies often mark the event with special programs.
     
    The Commonwealth of Nations is a group of 53 “free and independent” nations, most of which were once a part of the British Empire. In fact, early celebrations of Commonwealth Day (in 1904) were known as Empire Day. The commonwealth has members on every continent except Antarctica, and although it is not an economic or military alliance, the group is bound together by shared British history and culture.
     
    Commonwealth Day is marked by a speech delivered by the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II, the symbolic Head of the Commonwealth. 
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    alliance Noun

    people or groups united for a specific purpose.

    Commonwealth of Nations Noun association of independent nations and dependent territories linked by historic and cultural ties, as parts of the former British Empire, and cooperating on matters of mutual concern, especially regarding economics and trade.
    continent Noun

    one of the seven main land masses on Earth.

    Encyclopedic Entry: continent
    culture Noun

    learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.

    economic Adjective

    having to do with money.

    empire Noun

    group of nations, territories or other groups of people controlled by a single, more powerful authority.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    independent Adjective

    free from influence, threat, or support.

    military Noun

    armed forces.

    nation Noun

    political unit made of people who share a common territory.

    Encyclopedic Entry: nation
    public Adjective

    available to an entire community, not limited to paying members.

    symbolic Adjective

    serving as a representation of something.