The first -ever World Bathing Day – an international celebration of bathing cultures – is set to take place on 22 June. The idea has been spearheaded by professor Marc Cohen of RMIT University in Australia, and Charles Davidson, founder of Peninsula Hot Springs in Australia.
While the event’s genesis may have been in Australia, its reach is global; hot springs locations around the world will offer special events in celebration of the day, and many are also donating money to charitable causes with a focus on clean water.
Wilbur Hot Springs in Northern California is honouring the day with music and fundraising to benefit water.org. From 1-22 June, the hotel is donating 10 per cent of room revenue to the charitable organisation, which helps provide safe water and sanitation to those in need.
At Peninsula Hot Springs, a full day of storytelling and bathing activities will begin with a spiritual sunrise ceremony at the Hilltop Pool, and will also include water exercise classes, a body clay workshop, forest bathing walk, sound meditation and a sunset ceremony.
Participating thermal springs are asked to use the hashtag #worldbathingday to share photos of their celebrations.
With 844 million people – 1 in 9 worldwide – lacking access to safe water, hot springs leaders are also looking to move beyond fundraising, to petition the United Nations to formally recognise a World Bathing Day or International Day of Bathing.
“Bathing is an enjoyable, peaceful, social, multicultural and multigenerational activity that forms a common link across diverse cultural, spiritual and religions traditions, and plays a critical role in ensuring good health, dignity, confidence and comfort,” the petition states.
It also focuses on the importance of bathing for sanitary practices, and states that the day hopes to draw attention to the plight of the people for whom bathing is not yet an option, and those who lack access to sufficient drinking water.
“Access to water has a major impact on the health and future prospects of the world’s poor,” the petition states. “Every day nearly 1000 children die from water-related disease and women and girls spend 200 million hours simply gathering water. To them, water is time, education and hope.”
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