Celebrating International Day of Light: Trusting Science in 2021

International Day of Light

The International Day of Light has been celebrated since 2015 when the first International Year of Light took place. Such was its success, May 16 has been celebrated as International Day of Light ever since, and a celebration of science couldn’t be more fitting at this current moment in time. 

It’s a day where world leaders meet under the leadership of UNESCO and this year there’s a keen message to “Trust Science” as people globally begin to receive their vaccinations.

What is International Day of Light?

May 16 is celebrated each year as the International Day of Light, marking the anniversary of the first ever successful laser operation by Theodore Maiman. It was a landmark moment in scientific history and invention, offering a prime example of how scientific discovery can completely revolutionise society, healthcare, industry, and more.

The day itself is far from that though and celebrates wider science through the likes of arts, culture, entertainment, music and more. So, how can you celebrate this special day?

Celebrating International Day of Light

There are plenty of ways you can celebrate the International Day of Light, and to give you a little bit of inspiration, we’ve ditched the bingo and slots for a while and put our heads together to provide you with the most fun activities to get involved in on May 16…

Science Inspired Food

If you’re enjoying the Great British Menu at the moment, then why not channel your own Michelin star and cook some science inspired food. There have been all manner of inventions celebrated, from the contraceptive pill to the first tarmaced road, and many more.

Consider the science behind the inventions that have meant the most to you and explore how you can cook a meal around that. It doesn’t need fancy plates or the finest ingredients, there’s plenty of inspiration you can find in your local supermarket.

Light Your Home


While we’re of course suggesting to do so in as environmentally friendly manner as possible, light up your home on International Day of Light. There was plenty of invention around Christmas time, celebrating the fabulous work the NHS has done, and it would certainly be apt to do the same again.

However, you can create lighting displays inspired by any aspect of science. Again, use your imagination and decorate your windows in the shapes and sizes that reflect what scientific breakthroughs you’re grateful for.

Get Arty

Gat Arty

While there are plenty of arts and cultural activities taking place all over the world to celebrate International Day of Light, you can get arty from home and submit your work on social channels like Facebook and Instagram.

There are many ways you can do this, from creating paintings inspired by science, or even the likes of poetry and short stories inspired by inventions. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, you can just let the creative juices take you on an adventure. What’s more, it’s always good to get friends and family involved and create an International Day of Light competition, where you’ll undoubtedly come across all manner of interesting inventions and ways science has helped the world.

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