2017 – Hawaiʻi Island will mark the 22nd year of World Peace and Prayer Day.
World Peace And Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites Day is an international and intergenerational celebration for people of all faiths, nations, races, ages and genders who share concern for the welfare of humanity and the Earth to share in One Prayer.
During World Peace and Prayer Day the honoring ceremonies, invocations and prayers at the main chosen site are observed in collaboration with local indigenous representatives. Wisdom keepers and activists share spiritual insight and discuss important environmental concerns and solutions on both a local and global level.
In addition to a main gathering at a sacred site chosen each year, we ask others to join us at their own sacred sites as well as in their churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and other places of prayer.
PLEASE LET US KNOW WHERE YOU WILL BE GATHERED!
There are specific reasons for choosing to host World Peace and Prayer Day 2017 on Hawaii Island with ceremonies on June 21st at Mauna Kea. In the words of Native Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner and Kumu Hula, Pua Case, who has accepted the role of organizing on behalf of the host culture for June 21, 2017:
“Mauna Kea, also known as Mauna a Wakea (Mountain of Sky Father), is a place where the heavens and earth converge. It’s regarded as a kupuna, a revered and respected elder, an ancestor. Mauna a Wakea is a sacred piko, the navel of Hawai’i situated in the middle of the Pacific as the tallest mountain in the world from the sea floor, its physical prominence stationed nearest to the heavens holds a spi ritual significance for Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians), a significance that can be expressed in likening this mountain to a sacred altar. This sacred mountain holds mana (spiritual and divine powers) and is a focal point of spiritual and cultural significance to connect with the ancestors, energy and life forces, as well as the ancestral realms. Mauna a Wakea is a place to connect in union with the divine Aloha of the Creator.
It is time for all to connect with Aloha to Hawai‘i Island with its verdant rainforests, active lava flows, majestic mountains, and cultural traditions. This is an integral time for us to raise our level of consciousness and understanding that the care and protection of our lands and waters, from the mountain to the sea, is part of our kuleana (responsibility). The cultural perspective of aloha ‘aina, to have sincere love and respect for the land and nature, is at the heart of Hawaiian traditions.”
World Peace and Prayer Day encompasses more than just the ceremony and call to prayer on the June 21st Solstice. Each year, delegations of spiritual and cultural leaders come from around the world to join with local community leaders in offering prayers and sharing wisdom over a four day ceremonial period. In 2017, global delegates will gather with local leaders, cultural practitioners and supporters at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park for ceremony, cultural presentations, discussions, storytelling and wisdom sharing sessions on June 18, 19 and 20th. Although some sessions will be open to the public, please note that the requirements of the venue and cultural protocols will keep the gathering to a modest size.
The gathering will allow participants to exchange traditional knowledge and current efforts on cultural and community issues with each other and the younger generation of leaders, bringing new possibilities and solutions home with them.
Meanwhile on Oʻahu, a week of festivities has been planned by the Polynesian Voyaging Society to welcome the Hōkūleʻa back to her home. During these events, the navigators and educators will talk about World Peace and Prayer Day, and the crew will offer prayers on June 21st at their sacred site: the ocean.
In choosing Hawaiʻi as this yearʻs WPPD site, prayers will be offered for the heavens at Mauna Kea and for the highest fresh water at Lake Waiau; for the entire Earth through offerings to the sacred fire at Kilauea; and for the ocean by the Hōkūlea voyagers.