With World Diabetes Day 2018 just a week away, people around the world are going to be asking the question: why is this monument blue? I have the answer to that and how you can get involved! On November 14th, 2018 monuments around the world will be lit blue as part of the Blue Monument Challenge. This occurs every year on World Diabetes Day (also the day of Banting’s birthday) to bring awareness to diabetes. This challenge began in 2007 and marked the first United Nations observed WDD. Since then over one thousand monuments and buildings around the world have joined. Now you may be thinking- why blue? The colour blue is taken from the blue circle symbol meant to raise awareness for diabetes. This symbol was chosen by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) to represent the unity needed to find a cure for diabetes.
The Blue Monument Challenge truly is international! Last year, over 80 countries from all over the globe participated. Check out IDF’s Flickr page to see images of blue monuments in participating countries such as Denmark, India, Argentina, Australia, U.S.A., and so many more!
Banting House NHSC also gets involved! Each year we light up our Sir Frederick Banting statue and the house with blue lights as part of our WDD celebrations. Along with being lit blue, our event includes the unveiling of our new commemorative bricks, the reading of our Dear Dr. Banting letters, children’s activities, and more! Click here for more information on our event.
If you are not able to attend our World Diabetes Day 2018 event, but would still like to get involved in a blue lighting ceremony close to you check out the International Diabetes Federation’s website for information on WDD 2018 events all over the world.
This post was written by Rachel Delle Palme, Graduate Research Assistant at
Banting House NHSC. Rachel is currently completing her M.A. in Public History at