WORLD PEACE AND PRAYER DAY
Every year on June 21st during the summer solstice, World Peace and Prayer Day encourages people of all faiths and all nations to pray for the planet. It’s also a day to learn more about Mother Earth and to inspire youth to care for the environment.
Many people and cultures call our planet Mother Earth. They do so because the earth is considered the source of all its living beings. Mother Earth also focuses on the nurturing aspects of nature. Many people on the planet feel it is their duty to care for it. This includes Native Americans. They feel it is their duty, traditionally and culturally, to care for Mother Earth. Some even say that Native elders hold the key to living in balance on this planet.
Native Americans are especially concerned about the earth’s water. They believe that everyone in the world was born from water. They also believe that water is medicine. For these reasons, they are concerned about the rivers drying up. They also lament the amount of plastic and other debris in our rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans that are killing wildlife. Many Native Americans believe that prayer can reverse these situations.
HOW TO OBSERVE #PeaceAndPrayerDay
On this day, Native Americans and other cultures gather at sacred sites around the world to pray. Besides Native American cultural sites, these sacred sites include churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, and other places of prayer. Artists, educators, civic leaders, and anyone else concerned about the environment are invited to participate. Besides prayer vigils, the event includes special speakers, showing of documentaries, sharing of stories, and fire and water ceremonies.
WORLD PEACE AND PRAYER DAY HISTORY
In 1996, Chief Arvol Looking Horse began conducting the annual World Peace and Prayer Day during the summer solstice. According to cultures around the globe, the summer solstice is considered a powerful time to pray. Chief Looking Horse was born on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. He is the Spiritual Leader of the Great Sioux Nation. He felt the need to create this day following the birth of a female white buffalo in 1994. The white buffalo’s name was Miracle and signified a time of changes on the earth as well as healing for the Nations.