1-7 juli: Van Mahotsav: Nationaal Festival van het Boomplanten

Van 1 t/m 7 juli 2023 vindt ‘Van Mahotsav’ “Festival van de Bossen” plaats (van = bos; mahotsav= festival). In de eerste week van juli worden in alle deelstaten van India miljoenen bomen geplant. Deze dag werd in 1950 ingesteld door het Ministerie van Landbouw en Voedsel.
National Festival of Trees Planting (Nationaal Festival van het Bomenplanten) is vergelijkbaar met de ‘Boomplantdag’ in andere landen.

De ‘Nationale Boomfeestdag’ wordt in Nederland jaarlijks gehouden op de derde woensdag van november. Deze dag in het najaar voor het behoud van bomen in de natuur werd voor het eerst in april 1957 in Nederland georganiseerd.

In 2012 werd door de algemene vergadering van de Verenigde Naties besloten          21 maart uit te roepen tot ‘Werelddag van de Bossen’ (International Day of Forests).

Het doel van al deze dagen is om het bewustzijn van het belang van alle typen bossen en bomen te vergroten. De landen kiezen dan zelf een gunstige dag of seizoen uit om de bomen te planten, afhankelijk van het klimaat in hun land.

 History (geschiedenis) van “Van Mahotsav”

This is the Indian national tree planting week was organized by Mohinder Singh Randhawa from 20 to 27 July 1947. Randhawa had been inspired by ideas of a forest week, the festival of trees, or arbor days in various countries.                                            The first event of 20 July 1947 was inaugurated with the planting of Bauhinia saplings by Khurshid Ahmad Khan, commissioner of Delhi in the morning and the afternoon, another ceremony was held at the Purana Qila led by the Vice President of the Interim Government, Nehru.   

                                                                                                                                                            Another day was called Ladies Day and involved planting at the Qutub Minar with participants including Lady Mountbatten. Nehru said that it was a matter of surprise to him that so far no interest had been taken in tree plantation. Large tracts of the country had become deserts owing to the negligence of the people who cut trees without realizing their great value.

There should be a law that no one should cut a tree unless he had first planted a new one in its place.                                                                            Gandhi was in Delhi at the time and noted it in his prayer speech “The official who originated the idea of tree planting did not do it for fancy nor was it meant only for the monied men. It began with them so that others would copy them and thus add to the wealth and rainfall of India. Deforestation led to diminished rainfall. Moreover, trees required little care except in the early stages. An acre of land used for growing fruit trees would yield more fruit than a crop of wheat on the same area…”

 The tradition was continued and made into a national activity in 1950 by the Minister of Food and Agriculture Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi who moved it to the first week of July and renamed it as Van Mahotsav in 1950.


By encouraging Indians to support tree planting and tending, festival organizers hope to create more forests in the country. It would provide alternative fuels, increase production of food resources, create shelter-belts around fields to increase productivity, provide food and shade for cattle, offer shade and decorative landscapes, reduce drought, and help to prevent soil erosion. The first week of July is just the right time for planting trees in most parts of India since it coincides with the monsoon.

Van Mahotsav Quotes

  • Plans to protect air and water, wilderness, and wildlife, are in fact plans to protect man. – Stewart L. Udall.
  • The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Forests are the world’s air-conditioning system—the lungs of the planet—and we are on the verge of switching it off. – Prince Charles
  • He who plants a tree – Plants a hope. – Lucy Larcom
  • The future will either be green or not at all. – Bob Brown
  • We are using resources as if we had two planets, not one. There can be no ‘plan B’ because there is no ‘planet B’.” – Ban Ki-moon
  • People who will not sustain trees will soon live in a world that will not sustain people. – Bryce Nelson
  • If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. – Jack Handey
  • To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, to live as a people, we must have trees. – Theodore Roosevelt
  • Plant trees. They give us two of the most crucial elements for our survival: oxygen and books. – Whitney Brown
  • Trees are the best monuments that a man can erect to his own memory. They speak his praises without flattery, and they are blessings to children yet unborn. – Lord Orrery

Bron: beleven.org; Wikipedia; ritiriwaz.com