International Light Day is celebrated every year on May 16, the anniversary of the first successful operation of a laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer Theodore Maiman. This day is a call to strengthen scientific cooperation and use its potential to promote peace and sustainable development.
The International Day of Light celebrates the role of light in science, culture, art, education, and sustainable development. It allows various sectors of society worldwide to engage in activities that demonstrate how science, technology, art, and culture can help achieve UNESCO's goals of building a peaceful society. The study of light has led to promising alternative energy sources, medical advancements in diagnostic technologies and treatments, high-speed internet, and many other discoveries that have revolutionized society and shaped our understanding of the universe. These technologies, developed over centuries of fundamental research on the properties of light, starting with Ibn Al-Haytham's seminal work "Kitab al-Manazir" (Book of Optics) published in 1015 and continuing with Einstein's work in the early 20th century, have changed the way we think about time and light.