International Day of Peace (September 21) was celebrated at Unity Pavilion with a beautiful event. At the stroke of 12 noon every one present at the premises gathered around the Table of Peace and held a few moments of silence.
From 3 pm it was time for the various group activities. In the Unity Hall people gathered in small groups and made peace cranes with coloured paper (the Japanese art of origami). The cranes were strung together to make colourful chains. Another activity was the collective flower mandala, where children and adults alike showcased their creative talents to make a beautiful design around the symbol of peace with flowers and seeds. A world map was hung on the wall where people could put post-its to direct their peace wishes for any particular place in the world where there is some unrest at the moment or where they wanted peace to prevail.
At 4.30 everyone gathered in the Hall of Peace for the Peace day ceremony. The ceremony started off with Shivaya explaining the need of awareness of Peace Day among the youth of Auroville to take the message of Unity further. The ceremonial lamp-lighting was done by senior Aurovillian Aster Patel along with some little girls to mark the opening of the programme of Auroville Peace month. A group of youth read out the Peace day declaration line by line. The Peace flag was displayed and the embassy of Peace certificate was handed over to the Hall of Peace by Anandi. A Peace mantra in Sanskrit, wishing peace for the entire universe, was chanted by everyone for 10 minutes.
After a refreshment break for around 10 minutes the group gathered in the Hall of Peace once again for Peace meditation. After ten minutes of silent meditation, very soft sound and music were played to make it a deeper contemplative experience for one and all. Gradually the music subsided to silence which was held for another 10 minutes. The whole experience of collective concentration was a memorable one for all.