Yuri’s Night is an international celebration held every April 12th to commemorate milestones in space exploration.
Yuri’s Night is named for the first human to launch into space. Yuri Gagarin, who flew the Vosok 1 spaceship on 12th April 1961. The launch of STS-1, the first Space Shuttle mission, is also honoured, as it was launched 20 years to the day of Vosok 1 on 12th April 1981. In 2013 Yuri’s Night was celebrated at over 350 events in 57 countries.
Yuri’s Night is often called the “World Space Party”.
The goal of Yuri’s Night is to increase public interest in space exploration and to inspire a new generation of explorers. Driven by space-inspired artistic expression and culminating in a worldwide network of annual celebrations and educational events, Yuri’s Night creates a global community of young people committed to shaping the future of space exploration while developing responsible leaders and innovators with a global perspective. These global events are a showcase for elements of culture that embrace space including music, dance, fashion and art.
Yuri’s Night was created in 2000 by Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides, George T. Whitesides and Trish Garner. The first Yuri’s Night was held on 12th April 2001, exactly 40 years after the launch of Vosok 1. Since 1962, April 12th has also been celebrated in Russia (formerly the Soviet Union) as Cosmonautics Day and since 2011 internationally as the International Day of Human Space Flight.
Taken from Yuri’s Night Wikipedia Page.
You can find a list of celebrations including those in the UK on the Yuri’s Night Web Site: www.yurisnight.net/events