A labyrinth is a maze that is typically unicursal and walked by following twisting lines all the way in and then back out again, while praying or meditating. This may include whispering certain memorized prayers or it might be simply a time spent in silence. World Labyrinth Day is here to celebrate the beauty and significance that labyrinths offer to people who want to connect spiritually in this way.
History of World Labyrinth Day
Labyrinths have been a part of various cultures throughout ancient history, dating back 4,000 years or more and appearing as mazes or paths that are used for contemplation, meditation and prayer. These sites may have also been part of religious rituals, ceremonies or choreographed dances.
World Labyrinth Day is an international event that was founded by The Labyrinth Society (TLS) in 2009 as a way to promote awareness and encourage people to visit and enjoy labyrinths as part of their spiritual experience. Over the years, various other organizations have been involved with and collaborated on the planning of this day, including the Australian Labyrinth Network (ALN), Veriditas, and the Legacy Labyrinth Project.
To make World Labyrinth Day accessible and memorable, these groups have worked together to provide engaging events, helpful resources, educational opportunities, labyrinth-based research and more. Each year, participants in this day are invited to connect through activities and events, whether joining together or celebrating individually.
How to Celebrate World Labyrinth Day
Get involved and experience the peace and serenity offered by meditation and prayer when celebrating World Labyrinth Day:
Visit a Labyrinth
The most ideal way to celebrate World Labyrinth Day would be to give one of these prayer mazes a visit, as there are thousands located all over the world. Discover a new one through an online search, using a labyrinth locator tool offered by The Labyrinth Society, or perhaps by asking a local priest, pastor or other spiritual guide.
On World Labyrinth Day, people are invited to “Walk as One at 1”. This acts as an opportunity to walk a prayer labyrinth collectively at 1pm local time, with the purpose of creating a rolling wave of peace and energy passing around the globe, from one time zone to the next.
Those who can’t get out of the house don’t have to be excluded. They may find that making a finger labyrinth is an interesting opportunity to “walk” and pray if the weather or other circumstances do not permit going outside.
Learn About Labyrinths
People who come from certain religious traditions might already have experience with labyrinths, while others might feel they are a bit of a mystery and be looking to experience something new. One way to dig deeper into World Labyrinth Day might be to consider some of the symbolism of these sacred mazes.
Labyrinths can be related to a pilgrimage, with slow walking that moves deeper into the center, symbolically toward God.
In the past, when some people could not travel to holy sites or lands for pilgrimages, they might walk a labyrinth instead.
A labyrinth only has one entrance and the curves are walked toward the center and then the traveler follows it back out to leave the same way they came.
The paths of labyrinths can be marked with paint on the ground, lines in the sand, stones, or even plants that grow to indicate the path.