World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), 21 March, is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012.
The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
WDSD was first observed in 2006 in many countries around the world and Down Syndrome Association Singapore launched and hosted the WDSD website from 2006-2010, on behalf of DSi, for global activities to be recorded.
On 19 December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day. The General Assembly decided to “designate 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day, to be observed every year beginning in 2012” and “invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Down Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome”.
At first, it is difficult to comprehend how wearing a pair of coloured, mismatched socks could possibly be related to something as serious as Down Syndrome. The trend, however, has gripped people all over the world, who sport odd-coloured socks on World Down Syndrome Day.
If your browse through social media, you will find netizens posting pictures of coloured, mismatched or printed socks to notify WDSD.
The initiative is part of the ”Lots of Socks” campaign begun by an organisation called Down Syndrome International, to encourage people to start a conversation about diversity, uniqueness, inclusion and acceptance, as mentioned by downsyndrome.org.au.
The website of Down’s Syndrome Scotland further suggests how chromosomes look like socks, thus giving birth to the idea of a worldwide ”Lots of Socks” campaign, to honour the victims of Down Syndrome, who have an extra chromosome.