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UN Headquarters in New York gears up for Yoga Day celebrations led by PM Modi

A file photo of International Yoga Day being celebrated at the iconic Times Square in New York (Image courtesy: Consulate General of India, New York)

Preparations are underway at the United Nations Headquarters lawns in New York ahead of the Yoga Day celebrations which will be led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

PM Modi will lead a 9th edition of International Yoga Day on June 21 at the United Nations headquarters in New York during his official state visit to the United States. Prime Minister is visiting the United States at the invitation of President Joe Biden from June 20-24.

The International Day of Yoga is celebrated on June 21.

The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated worldwide annually on June 21 since 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India.

In his 2014 UN address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested the date of June 21, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares a special significance in many parts of the world.

After the Yoga Day celebration in New York, PM Modi will then travel to Washington D.C., where he will receive a ceremonial welcome at the White House on June 22, and meet President Biden to continue their high-level dialogue.

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will host a State Dinner in honour of the Prime Minister the same evening, according to a release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

PM Modi will at the invitation of US Congressional Leaders, including Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy and Speaker of the Senate Charles Schumer, address a Joint Sitting of the US Congress on June 22.

On June 23, the prime minister will be jointly hosted at a luncheon by US Vice President Kamala Harris and State Secretary Antony Bilnken.In addition to official engagements, the Prime Minister is scheduled to have several curated interactions with leading CEOs, professionals, and other stakeholders. He will also meet members of the Indian Diaspora.