Madras Day: The Magnificient City Turns 383

Madras Day is a festival organised to commemorate the founding of the city of Madras in Tamil Nadu

It is celebrated on 22 August every year, 22 August 1639 being the widely agreed date for the purchase of the village of Madraspatnam by East India Company factors 

The idea of a Madras Day was first suggested by Chennai-based Journalist Vincent D'Souza to historian  S. Muthiah during a meeting of the trustees of the Chennai Heritage foundation in 2004

Madras Day celebrations have been held every year without fail, its highlights being exhibitions, lectures, film screenings and quizzes

The first recorded celebration of the founding of Madras was its tercentenary commemoration in 1939. The celebrations were officially sponsored by the British government

Madras Day focuses on the city, its history, its past and its present and the core team motivates communities, groups, companies and campuses in the city to host events that celebrate the city

The celebration consists of events such as heritage walks, public talks, exhibitions, poetry reading sessions, public performances, food festivals and special programs on local radio

It also includes contests  such as T-shirt designing, documentary film contest, multimedia presentation for schools and quizzes in both Tamil and English

The talks delivered to mark the week-long celebrations usually involve lectures explaining the heritage and history of the city