Arbor Day in Belgium, Portugal and Lesotho Date in the current year: March 21, 2024

Arbor Day in Belgium, Portugal and Lesotho Arbor Day is an annual holiday dedicated to planting and taking care of trees. It is observed in many countries, but its date varies from one country to another depending on the climate which determines the tree planting season. For example, Belgium, Portugal and Lesotho celebrate Arbor Day on March 21.

The earliest recorded mention of a tree planting festival dates back to 1594. The event took place in the Spanish village of Mondoñedo, today known as Alameda de los Remedios. The village even has a granite marker with a bronze plate commemorating the festival. The first modern Arbor Day took place in another Spanish village, Villanueva de la Sierra. A local priest launched the celebration in 1805.

However, it was the United States that helped popularize Arbor Day across the world. The first Arbor Day in the New World was launched by J. Sterling Morton who suggested the celebration at the annual meeting of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture. The first celebration occurred on April 10, 1872. According to estimates, Nebraskans planted about a million trees on that day.

Morton’s idea was popularized nationwide by Birsey Northrop of Connecticut with the support of the American Forestry Association. By the 1920s, each state in the United States had designated a certain day as Arbor Day or Arbor and Bird Day. National Arbor Day in the United States is celebrated on the last Friday of April.

Arbor Day in Belgium, Portugal and Lesotho is celebrated on or around March 21, coinciding with World Wood Day and UN’s International Day of Forests. In addition, it is the day of the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, traditionally associated with the revival of nature. It should be noted, however, that Lesotho is situated in the Southern Hemisphere, so its Arbor Day falls during the autumnal equinox.

In Belgium, it is celebrated mainly by municipalities in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders as an awareness day named International Tree Planting Day or National Tree Planting Day. Tens of thousands of children and adults plant trees throughout Flanders, helping to keep forests alive. The tree planting awareness campaign is often combined with cancer awareness campaigns.

In Portugal, Arbor Day is celebrated mainly by schools that organize various environment-themed activities, including, obviously, tree planting. The first ever celebration of Arbor Day in Portugal took place in the city of Seixal on March 21, 1907.

In Lesotho, National Tree Planting Day usually falls on March 21, but its date may vary depending on the lunar cycle. Tree planting activities in this country in southern Africa were first initiated by missionaries from the Paris Evangelical Society who arrived here in 1833. In the 20th century, a number of special government programs were adopted to create tree nurseries and increase tree cover. They include Arbor Day celebration.

Although different countries celebrate Arbor Day on different days, they all have the same goal: to protect our planet one tree at a time for a better, more sustainable future for all of us.

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