The annual International Day of Light aims to provide an enduring focal point for the continued appreciation of the central role that light plays in the world. All sectors of society are invited to participate in activities to raise awareness about science and technology, art and culture, and their importance in achieving the objectives of UNESCO, which are education, equality and peace.

Following a highly successful International Year of Light in 2015, which highlighted the importance of light-based sciences and technologies and saw the implementation of more than 13,168 activities in 147 countries, the Executive Board of UNESCO, at its 200th session, designate May 16 of every year as the International Day of Light.

Why May 16?

The International Day of Light will be held on May 16 every year, on the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman. The laser is a perfect example of how a scientific discovery can yield revolutionary benefits to society in communications, healthcare and many other fields.

However, the International Day of Light is not just about lasers and science. It also encompasses the fields of art, culture, and entertainment – everywhere light is present!

“Imagine having one day to think about how we can make a difference in science, culture, art, education, sustainable development.

One day to explore within the fields of medicine, communications, and energy and aim to unite them in search for a better world.

May 16 is that day, proclaimed by UNESCO as the International Day of Light. Because light is a key enabling tool for innovation and technology generation in medical devices, high-speed Internet, energy efficient illumination, high-sensitivity sensors, save online data, conservation of cultural heritage, renewable energy… and many more.

Celebrate the Day of Light with us; light is the future.”

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