International Mountain Day

Celebrated annually on December 11th, International Mountain Day is an international observance day whose goal is to raise awareness about the role that mountainous regions play in the lives of people and their importance to our planet.

While most people take mountains for granted and don’t think much about them, mountains are very important for the well-being of the planet. Mountains provide numerous resources such as fresh water, food, and energy.

The scarcity of these resources is only going to increase over the next few decades as the human population continues to grow and use an even greater share of the Earth’s resources.

History of International Mountain Day

This international observance day can be traced back to 1992. This is when Chapter 13 of Agenda 21 was adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. It was entitled “Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development” and brought the world’s attention to the importance of mountains and mountain ranges to the world.

As attention towards this issue increased, it was decided that 2002 would become the International Year of Mountains, with the hope that it would not only raise awareness but also stir action on sustainable mountain development.

The effort was successful enough that on December 20th, 2002, the United Nations designated December 11 as International Mountain Day. The following year, on December 11th, 2003, the first International Mountain Day was observed.

The Symbol of this Day

The symbol of this day is three black triangles that appear next to each other, and each of these triangles has another symbol embedded in them. These triangles represent mountains, of course, and each of the embedded symbols represents something that mountains provide to the Earth and humanity.

For instance, the triangle on the left has a blue diamond at its apex, which represents ice – ice that melts and becomes freshwater. The triangle in the middle has an orange circle at its center that represents the minerals and resources that are mined from the inside of mountains, and the triangle on the right has its lower right corner painted green, which represents the crops that grow on mountains.

Celebrating this Day

International Mountain Day is celebrated in a variety of ways. All over the world, seminars, symposiums, and lectures are held on the subject of mountains, how they impact the environment, and how to help the communities that rely on their resources.

Mountain climbing associations may hold special climbing events, schools may hold special events for students, and organizations whose work centers around mountains may hold special events for their members.

However, while this day is an international observance day, it is not a public holiday, and as such, most businesses, government agencies, and post offices remain open on this day.


International Mountain Day is a great day for people to come together either to celebrate the contributions made by mountains and mountain ranges or to raise awareness of the issues that affect mountains and the people who depend on them.

Climb, hike, or drive up your favorite mountain; plan a mountain-themed party, or raise awareness about the plight of people who live in mountainous regions and how resources can be used without further degrading mountain ecosystems that continue to become even more fragile.

When is it?
This year (2024)
December 11 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
December 11 Thursday
Last year (2023)
December 11 Monday
Nature & Environment, United Nations