World Down Syndrome Day was held across the globe on Saturday, March 21, to celebrate people who have the condition.
Down Syndrome International, via Daily Signal, has reported that over the course of March 21 a variety of “activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and wellbeing of people with Down Syndrome” will occur.
World Down Syndrome Day was originally held in 2006 by several countries, before the United Nations General Assembly confirmed that World Down Syndrome Day would be celebrated globally in 2011.
But why is World Down Syndrome Day held on the 21st day of the third month? Well, it’s “to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down Syndrome.”
In order to make this year extra special, a “Lots Of Socks” campaign has been organised. To raise awareness Down Syndrome International want people to wear “official lots of socks logo socks, other brightly colored socks, long socks, printed socks, 1 sock… maybe even 3 socks for 3 chromosomes.”
On Saturday evening, the Empire State Building will also light up with blue and yellow lights (which represent Down Syndrome) to honor and celebrate individuals with the condition.
— Song Woww (@songwahly) March 12, 2015
Actor Chris Burke, who suffers from Down Syndrome, spoke to The National Down Syndrome Society about why it’s important to celebrate the disorder, explaining that individuals with it “are able to do things that other people can and can’t do — just like anybody from around the world.”
It’s believed that around 400,000 people in America have Down Syndrome, and World Down Syndrome Day is a reminder that even though individuals who have it do go through challenges in their lives they can still have full and happy lives.
Sarah Torre, who works as a policy analyst for The Heritage Foundation, told the Daily Signal that hearing these “stories of hope and joy” allow others who suffer from Down Syndrome to celebrate their condition.
You can check out some of the people celebrating World Down Syndrome day below.
Prince Harry supporting World Down Syndrome Day xxx pic.twitter.com/A1PJGBY0GX
— Abigail & Isobel (@Twincess1) March 21, 2015
— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) March 21, 2015
— John Wilson (@JWspeaks) March 21, 2015
Happy World Down Syndrome Day in honor of these amazing people who have changed my life.