International Museum Day

For many people, there never needs to be much of an excuse to get out to the museum. Still, appreciating them on International Museum Day is another way of showing appreciation for them. Also, it is the youth who may need a little encouragement, so this day is an excellent way of getting more of the younger generations interested in the history and culture available in museums.

When Is International Museum Day?

It falls on May 18th every year. Expect museums around the world to participate in some form of event. This can be your local museum or the big city types that have world-class artifacts and intriguing exhibitions. It isn’t just about getting people into the museum; it’s about raising awareness of their significance to world culture. The day is coordinated by the ICOM (International Council of Museums), which helps museums and curators raise awareness.

In 2020, on International Museum Day, interactions on social media reached a massive 83,000,000 users, so it is clear to see that this is a day that many people are interested in. Every year, there is a theme to follow. In 2021 the theme was “The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine.” Other notable themes include 2010’s “Museums for Social Harmony,” and 2001’s “Museums: Building Community.”

What Are The Origins Of International Museum Day?

The first day dedicated to International Museum Day was held in 1977. As with any beginning, the start was more humble, but the number of museums participating has grown significantly. In 2009 alone, over 20,000 museums were participating with events spread far and wide. More and more countries are taking part, with over 100 in 2012.

In 2009, the ICOM aligned with the WFFM (World Federation of Friends of Museums) to further expand the reach of the day. The day is made special in different ways depending on the museum. Some go all-in and organize dance performances to draw people in, such as in Uzbekistan. This is where the children’s dance group Jonona performed at the Samarkand State Museum of Cultural History in 2010.

Another notable event occurred in Melbourne at the National Sports Museum in 2011. A special exhibition called “Remembering The Moments That Made Us” was arranged where visitors could meet sports stars and personalities who were affiliated with memorable moments.

In 2012, the ICOM sponsored a photo competition where visitors took pictures of themselves at the museum by the official logo of the event. These are the sorts of events and incentives that get people talking and into museums.

How To Observe International Museum Day

The easiest way is to check on the upcoming events for your local museum and plan a trip for the day itself. If the small-town museum is not involved, perhaps make a suggestion. The natural way to acknowledge the day is to pay a visit, make a donation upon entry if it is free, and then spread the word.

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for International Museum Day, so the more people get involved, the better. Use the hashtag #InternationalMuseumDay and see what other people are doing to celebrate.

This can be a good time to focus on a particular project, especially with children. Learning about our ancestors can be great. So, where better to find out about the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and other moments in time?

Anyone wishing to go big should make a trip to a major museum. Even if it means making a day of it, it is going to be worth it to see world-class artifacts and exhibitions. All things considered, the day of May 18th is likely to be a busy one for museums. So, if crowds are not your thing, plan a trip close to the date and don’t forget to spread the word when the day does come.

A lot of the world’s best museums offer free entry, so it is always a good idea for a trip, especially on International Museum Day.

When is it?
This year (2024)
May 18 Saturday
Next year (2025)
May 18 Sunday
Last year (2023)
May 18 Thursday
Culture & History