What Does Centenary Mean? Important Things You Need To Know

What Does Centenary Mean

Leaders who gave so much both for the benefit and advancement of a country must have a place and time where the whole nation gathers to say thank you in remembrance of what they have done. Centenary celebration is an avenue for the people of a country to come together, unite, and celebrate in oneness. During this period, there is unspeakable joy in the air, genuine happiness, and tranquility. The people share a sense of joint victory.

Now, what does centenary mean?

Centenary coins from the Latin word “centenarius.” Centenary is the anniversary of a significant event that occurs once every hundred years. It is a remembrance of substantial achievements. More often, a century is always attached to the success of an event. That is, without something significant happening, there really can’t be a century.

There is more you need to know about this topic besides the meaning of centenary, so continue reading to get more insight.

Centenary Celebrations 

Centenary celebrations are celebrations that happen after one hundred years. Let’s say, for example, a nation that has struggled with some firm oppression for many years, but finally, the country regains freedom. The celebration of that freedom is known as independence, which is the freedom from its oppressors.

African countries like South Africa, Nigeria, and South Sudan ruled at one time, or the other by their British colonial master have always celebrated yearly independence. Other countries such as Australia, Canada, Spain, and Portugal are also in the league of nations who take out time to celebrate their independence yearly.

The British Government controlled a more substantial portion of the world before the year 1914. And they, therefore, have so many other countries beneath its whip. As time went on, the British-colonized nations became rebellious, which led to their freedom from their British masters. Celebrations of such kind are remarkable to such countries and serve the best deal in the esteem of her citizens.

However, a hundred years after the celebration of that independence is called ‘Centenary.’ Centenary comes from the word century, which also means a hundred years.

Viewpoints On The Nature Of Centuries

There are two main viewpoints on the nature of standard centuries. One is strict construction, while the other base on a popular perspective.

From the Gregorian calendar, the first century AD began with 1 AD and ended with 100 AD, with the same pattern simultaneously. The next century will start on the year (100 × n) – 99 and end in 100 × n. It is because of this that a century will only include one year, the centennial year that starts with the century’s number. E.g., the 20th century is from 1901 to 2000, which means that between 1901 and 2000 is 99years which makes up a century.

In a simplified perspective, centuries are built by grouping years based on their shared digits. The nth century will start on the year (100 × n) – 100 and end in (100 × n) – 1. E.g., the 20th century is from 1900 to 1999.

Origin Of Centenary

The source of centenary celebration began in the early 17th century. The 20th century was the last century in the second millennium. The events that dominate the 20th century held major changes in the world history for redefining the era. There are events like WWI and WWII, nuclear power, nationalism, space exploration, decolonization, post-cold war issues, cold war.

Some are developments in intergovernmental organizations, cultural homogenization, and growth towards emerging transportation. Others are communications technology, reduction of poverty, as well as world population alongside the knowledge of environmental depletion.

Some others include ecological extinction and birth of the digital revolution helped by widely adopting integrated circuits and MOS transistors, which gives a significant advance in communication, power generation, as well as medical technology.

It serves as a unique template for measuring growth and advancement for both individuals, groups, companies, and a country.

Why Is Centenary Important? 

Centenary is essential in the following ways.

A hundred years in business is a significant achievement. The past has an impact on us today, in terms of how we react to it, interpret it, learn lessons, and apply it to our business. There would also be an emphasis on more innovative approaches to make the company more successful.

Several organizations have been in existence for several years. They have also stayed in business till date, one of which is the general motors and Coca-Cola company that has been in life for over 100 years. It means that these companies have added to both the improvement of individuals and economies for these several years.

A century is one significant event to celebrate the fiber of strength and resilience these companies have shown forth. Other examples of organizations worth having a centenary celebration for their resistance in the economic scheme of things are the J Smucker, Target, J C Penny, Boeing, and UPS. Because several financial crises have hit the world while others have gone under the water, thus, there is no way one should say something there is nothing to celebrate.

Celebrating a milestone of 100 years is one that is worthy the recognition and applause, especially by the entire community. A school that is celebrating a milestone of 100 years enjoy educational distinction to have lasted that long..

Schools have also been spaces of influence and grooming of people who have gone ahead to have become world leaders, Presidents, politicians, teachers, social influencers, inventors, and scientists.

These people will always look back in appreciation of what has been handed over to them by their schools. And what is more, connecting is the reunion of both the old and new generations in one space to celebrate the achievements and time they both shared learning from the same school.

These connections are made possible in a century. It is where you find the mixture of generations dropping, sharing memories, and reconnecting.

Centenaries serve as the time to reflect on the operations of the countries and their citizens. It is time to evaluate. They afford them the opportunity to reconsider their history and and prepare for the future

Independence as a celebration after a hundred years is one significant moment to share and draw the lines, measuring the achievement of a country, its economic and political advancement so far.

The battles fought and the measures taken to curb the days of uncertainties. These also serve as days to honor world leaders who sacrificed their time, money resources, and even their lives for the forward movement of their nation.

Centenaries can also be an inspiration to assess the development of the nation, as it attends to how its contemporary, political, diplomatic, social, and cultural trends have influenced the states. Quite a lot of time, the only way to see how far we have gone is to look back.

There has been a lot of socio-cultural and political advancement over the last 100 years. Technology has changed the way we live, love, operate, rule, and communicate. There has been an advancement in human intelligence.

If you measure growth by 99 years in between, it is effortless to pinpoint both the rate and level of progress we have experienced both as individuals, families, and nation, socio-cultural, politically and technologically.

Commemorative activities are shaped by centenarians to communicate their understanding of their history, reality, and visions for the future. With a century looking back into the last 100 years and understanding how far people have gone, it becomes much easier to visualize how now one can go in the next hundred years.

There are companies today who have a centenary anniversary plan, they meet, and plan strategies for the next hundred years. Structuring on what they ought to be celebrating in the following years to come.

Some Chinese companies even go as far as drafting a 150-year plan. Showing how now they are willing to take their companies, even beyond the founders and the present generation. A centenary helps keep those visions in check.

We celebrate special centenarians. Centenarians are people who had significant influence over the world within a century, and after they are gone, the things they did still live on and after them. These are people whose contributions the world will forever be grateful. Some of these people are philosophers with philosophies and scientists with laws and inventions. Examples of centenarians are Sir Isaac Newton, Socrates, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Pascal, Watt, Alexander the great, Agbagus, Jesus Christ, etc. The world owes these people a forever debt of both gratitude and humility.

List Of Organizations And Associations Who Observe The Centenary Celebration

Some of the organizations are The Organization of International Labor (ILO), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Agriculture and Food Organization (FAO), United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, The Wilson Organization, LLC, United Nations University (UNU).


Centenary celebrations are a barometer of contemporary esteem and reflect popular and elite attitudes to both the past and the present. The society views centralized heroes as secular saints, national icons, and local tourist attractions. Some commemorations have a lasting influence-a rhythm of remembrance, appraisal, hope, and courage to forge ahead. Thus, we have answered the question, what does centenary mean?

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