India celebrates 5th Int'l Yoga Day

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-21 13:59:47|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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NEW DELHI, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi led thousands of people in performing Yoga in Ranchi, the capital city of eastern state of Jharkhand on Friday morning, celebrating the 5th International Yoga Day.

According to officials, over 30,000 yoga enthusiasts took part in Modi's event, including Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and other state ministers.

Modi arrived in Ranchi on Thursday night to participate in the main event early in morning. He said he wants to take yoga from cities to villages of the country, making it accessible to all.

"Let our motto be -- Yoga for peace, harmony and progress," Modi said in his address. "I urge you all to embrace Yoga and make it an integral part of your daily routine. Yoga is ancient and modern. It is constant and evolving. For centuries, the essence of Yoga has remained the same -- healthy body, stable mind, spirit of oneness. Yoga provides a perfect blend of knowledge, work and devotion."

Reports said 400 makeshift toilets, over 200 drinking water kiosks, eight medical teams, 21 ambulances, disaster rescue force personnel and more than 100 CCTV cameras were set at the venue. Twenty-eight giant screens were installed for live telecast of the event.

Yoga includes stretching and bending the body and doing breathing exercises, aiming at transforming the body and mind. Proponents of the exercise say it is a 5,000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice with origins in India.

The United Nations declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga after Modi, a Yoga enthusiast, lobbied for the ancient Indian art.

Since 2015, the International Day of Yoga is celebrated annually on June 21 in India and outside.

Last year Modi marked the day with a similar event in Dehradun, in the state of Uttarakhand, and was joined by thousands of people.

Yoga sessions were also held across the country to mark the day with ministers taking part in the major events held in capital city New Delhi and elsewhere.