Friday, March 6, 2009

World Youth Day 2011 Madrid

World Youth Day 2011 is a Catholic youth festival expected to be held over seven days from August 15 – 21, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.

More than 125,000 visitors — more than the number of those who came to Sydney for the Olympic Games in 2000 — were estimated to have arrived in Sydney for World Youth Day 2008. The six-day celebrations began on July 15, local time, and came to a close on the actual World Youth Day itself on July 20.

Organised by the Catholic Church, World Youth Day brought together young people from around the world to celebrate their faith. World Youth Day 2008 culminated in a final Mass celebrated by the Pope on July 20 at Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse. The Mass is typically the largest event of World Youth Day celebrations and, overseas, had drawn millions of people.

The most recent World Youth Days on the international level, prior to the Sydney event, were held in Cologne, Germany, in 2005 and in Toronto, Canada, in 2002. Madrid, Spain, and Rio de Janeiro or Belo Horizante, Brazil, were among the cities vying to hold the next international World Youth Day, possibly in 2011.

World Youth Day was begun by Pope John Paul II in 1986 and has already been held in Rome, Argentina, Spain, Poland, the United States, the Philippines, France and, more recently, Canada and Germany.

The influx of large numbers of visitors to Sydney, and the need for security measures, caused congestion in various Sydney areas and affected traffic movements.

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