Under normal circumstances, on 29th June more than eighty million people in 14 Danube countries are invited to celebrate Danube Day, to learn about the Danube, and to experience the waters of the world’s most international river basin.
In 2020 however, most public events are currently cancelled throughout the Danube River Basin. The celebration of the River Danube was thus, a little different, and the public were invited to #DiscoverDanube online. A variety of online activities took place, with games, a one-off website, online talks, video conferences, shareable short films and special articles taking the place of physical events.
Danube Day celebrates the Danube and the rivers that flow into it, and the vital role they play in providing water, food, power, recreation and livelihood. Danube Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Danube River Protection Convention in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1994. Even during a pandemic, where our cities, societies, and lifestyles are being interrupted, preserving our most precious resource – water – never stops being a top priority.
Below: A video produced especially by Austria for Danube Day 2020. Robert Steiner - known from OKIDOKI on ORF 1 - introduces you to the world's most international river basin.
What Happened in 2020 (despite the crisis)?
Despite almost all of our activities being either cancelled or postponed indefinitely for 2020, our member countries rose to the challenge to keep the Danube Day spirit alive throughout this global crisis. Here's some of what has gone on throughout 2020...
- There was a dedicated edition of Vodohospodársky Spravodajca ('Water Management Newsletter', a bi-monthly journal) to Danube Day.
- There was a special topic on water and information about the Danube Day in the edition of Enviromagazín (bi-monthly journal published by Slovak environmental Agency).
- On Friday 26th June, there was a clean-up activity organised by Vodohospodárska výstavba and Slovenský vodohospodársky podnik. Aiming to collect garbage on and around benches along the Danube within the vicinity of Gabčikovo, some 500 volunteers joined in.
- The Danube Passport from previous years lived on in 2020 – but this time in an online format.
- A web page and quiz game were under construction.
- Dedicated Austrian Danube Day website: www.danubeday.at
- A learning/quiz app PLAY DANUBE is under construction and will appear in the app store (German only)
- Special online event with Robert Steiner (ORF1, see above)
- Many important actions on Social Media (campaign with Videos)
- June was the month of Danube in Austria.
- The Serbian Danube Day team created a platform on their website: www.srbijavode.rs
- The website includes educational short films about the sights of the Danube River, and a quiz for participants to take to test their Danube knowledge!
Austria's own sister website dedicated to Danube Day