International Heraldry Day Date in the current year: June 10, 2024

International Heraldry Day International Heraldry Day is celebrated annually on June 10. It is dedicated to the art and science of devising, displaying, and granting armorial insignia, as well as tracing and recording genealogies. The inaugural International Heraldry Day, which united heraldry enthusiasts across the world, was held on June 10, 2013.

People have used various symbols as a means of representation for millennia, but the modern heraldic language only began to develop in the High Middle Ages. The need for heraldic symbols arose from military necessity and the knightly tournaments, where combatants wearing full armor needed a way to identify themselves and began to wear emblems on their shields for this purpose. Eventually European nobility began to use coats of arms as family symbols.

The world “heraldry” is derived from “herald”. Heralds were originally employed by monarchs and noblemen as messengers. They were also officers responsible for managing the tournaments, which included announced the contestant. In both capacities, heralds were required to know the rank, pedigree, and heraldic devices of various lords and knights. By the mid-14th century, the first heraldic authorities were established to regulate the use and ownership of coats of arms.

The best-known branch of heraldry is armory. It concerns the design of the armorial achievements, also known as heraldic achievements. Heraldic achievement comprises a coat of arms and other heraldic components to which its bearer is entitled, including the helm (bearing the torse and crest), the motto, supporters, and other insignia. Since heraldry emerged almost simultaneously across western Europe, different countries have their own heraldic traditions.

Although in the modern world coats of arms aren’t as important as they once were, many private and public organizations, companies, individuals, towns, cities, and regions continue using them as identification, and so heraldry continues to flourish as an art, science and hobby. A number of countries have heraldic authorities that register or grant coats of arms, as well as prevent their misuse. Countries that don’t have heraldic authorities and laws regulating the use of coats of arms usually treat them as creative property protected by copyright laws.

International Heraldry Day was created in 2013. It was decided to celebrate the holiday on June 10 for a reason. On this day in 1128, King Henry I of England knighted his future son-in-law Geoffrey Plantagenet and presented him with a blue shield bearing six gold lions. Geoffrey Plantagenet’s personal coat of arms is widely considered to be one of the oldest examples of heraldry.

Although it’s debatable whether or not this event was indeed the beginning of heraldry as we understand it today, the founders of International Heraldry Day – the International Association of Amateur Heralds – think that it’s nice to have a date to celebrate the modern art and science of heraldry. The holiday is marked with various events aimed at popularizing heraldry and encouraging people to take it up as a hobby.

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International Heraldry Day, international observances, heraldry, coats of arms, International Association of Amateur Heralds