First celebrated in 1982, World Peace Day takes place annually on the 21 September and is a time dedicated to the absence of war and violence. It is supported by many nations, political organisations and military groups globally.
In a bid to to encourage the UN to formally institutionalise the event, filmmaker Jeremy Gilley set up Peace One Day, a global initiative that promotes the annual day of non-violence and provides an opportunity for aid organisations to carry out essential life-saving work in war-torn communities, as well as raising life-saving funds.
As part of this' year's event, an inspirational and unifying peace anthem called “ONE” written and performed by artists from across the African continent in a show of unity has been released. You can show your support for the initiative by downloading the track (proceeds will go to Peace One Day), or joining the Thunderclap.
To mark today's occasion, we're taking a look back below over ten inspiring historical and modern-day peace records from around the globe.
1. First peace treaty
The earliest known surviving peace treaty was drawn up in 1271BC and signed by the Egyptian pharaoh, Ramses II (Ramses the Great), and Hattusilis III, King of the Hittites. It was an agreement to end years of warring between Egypt and Hatti (in present-day Turkey), but also to a mutual alliance in the event of foreign or domestic aggression and to the extradition of rebels, fugitives and political refugees.
2. First Nobel Peace prize
In 1901, Henry Dunant (Switzerland) and Frédéric Passy (France, 1822–1912) became the first Nobel Peace Laureates. The prize was awarded jointly: to Dunant for his principal role in founding the Red Cross, and to Passy – founder and president of first French peace society – for organizing the first Universal Peace Congress.
3. Largest floating human image
The largest human floating image is a peace sign. It consisted of 460 participants and was achieved by the Municipality of Mudanya and Hayri Türkyilmaz and Cumhur Aygün, in Mudanya Bursa, Turkey, on 30 August 2015. Previously the record was held by Monaco Business Development and Ziyad Mazzawi Corporation also displaying a peace sign in the Dead Sea, Amman, Jordan, on 30 October 2014.
4. Youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner
The youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner was Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan, b. 17 July 1997), who won the award in 2014. Malala Yousafzai shared the prize with Kailash Satyarthi of India "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education".
5. Largest book of signatures
Amnesty International gathered over 10 million signatures from 125 countries in its one year long Get Up Sign Up campaign pledging support for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The signatures were compiled into a book and presented to Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, in Paris on the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1998.
6. Largest magic lesson
The largest magic lesson involved 1,476 participants and was taught by Israel Cagliostro Oxman (Israel) in Haifa, Israel, on 1 June 2015. Attending the class were representatives from varying ethnicities and religious communities, including children of Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths.
7. Longest chanting marathon (team)
The longest chanting marathon is 24 hr 10 min 8 sec and was achieved by a team directed by Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji (India) in Frisco, Texas, USA, from 31 July - 1 August 2015. 582 attendees at the Hanuman Temple in Frisco, Texas, were led in the chanting by worldwide Guru and spiritual leader Sri Swamiji. They chanted for world peace and universal brotherhood.
8. Longest 20th century house arrest
For her non-violent struggle for democracy in an authoritarian regime, Aung San Suu Kyi (chairperson of the National League for Democracy in Burma) endured a house arrest that lasted 5 years 355 days. Aung was placed under house arrest on 20 July 1989, in Myanmar (formerly Burma) by the military government and held until 10 July 1995. She was told she could leave the country so long as she never returned, but Aung chose to stick by her people, refusing to give up in her fight for a fairer and more harmonious government.
9. Largest horn ensemble
The largest horn ensemble consisted of 444 musicians and was achieved by Art of Living Foundation (India), in Kollam, Kerala, India, on 9 January 2013. The 444 musicians all played the C-shaped long Indian horn called the Kombu or Sringa. The Art of Living aimed to strengthen inter-religious and cultural bonds and celebrate diversity through music.
10. First female Peace Laureate
Baroness Bertha Sophie Felicita von Suttner, née Countess Kinsky von Chinic und Tettau (Austria, 1843–1914), was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905 for her novel Die Waffen nieder (Lay Down Your Arms, 1889) and for assisting Alfred Nobel in founding the Peace Prize.
Continuing the peace effort into October, watch out for an exciting new record attempt from John Lennon's wife Yoko Ono who has organised a challenge to create the Largest human peace sign. Up to 10,000 people are expected to gather in New York's Central Park on 6 October (three days before what would have been The Beatles star's 75th birthday) to attempt the record.