About World Labyrinth Day
World Labyrinth Day is an annual event sponsored by The Labyrinth Society (TLS).
Every year on the first Saturday in May thousands of people around the world participate in this moving meditation for world peace.
Ways to Celebrate
Many “Walk as One at 1” local time on Saturday to create a rolling wave of peaceful energy across the globe. There are local community celebrations, individual walks, and online events. School communities are encouraged to participate on Friday for World Labyrinth Day in Schools.
The concept for World Labyrinth Day was first suggested to the TLS Strategic Planning committee by Carol House and developed by the Board of Directors including Harriette Royer, Kimberly Saward, and Kay Whipple in 2007-8. Based on their recommendation for an “Annual Worldwide Labyrinth Walk” at the 2008 Fall Board Meeting, an international committee of nineteen members chose the first Saturday in May as World Labyrinth Day (WLD).
The intention of WLD is to bring people from all over the planet together in celebration of labyrinths as a symbol, tool, passion, or practice. WLD is an opportunity to inform and educate the public, host walks, build permanent and temporary labyrinths, make labyrinth art, or explore the archetype in other ways. At the suggestion of Lynda Tourloukis, participants are encouraged to “Walk as One at 1” in the afternoon to create a wave of peaceful energy around our planet as it turns in space.
The First World Labyrinth Day
The initial celebration was planned at the 2009 TLS Spring Board Meeting and Stephanie Blackton, the Public Relations Chair at the time, became the first WLD Coordinator. The Labyrinth Society Facebook page and Global Group were launched by Lisa Moriarty and Stephanie Blackton, who made the first post that weekend.
Pamela Kilbourne held the first World Labyrinth Day walk on May 2, 2009, offering Chartres and Classical canvas labyrinths on Mayor Island, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. John Ridder shipped a canvas labyrinth to Hong Kong to be used for an event. Randy Fillmore obtained permission to build labyrinths on the Ellipse near the White House. Working with Stephanie Blackton and Diane Terry-Kehner, among others, they created two temporary labyrinths in Washington, DC for the inaugural event.
Subsequent coordinators included Carol House (2011-13) and Lars Howlett (2014-18) who both helped lead steady growth in World Labyrinth Day participation. Our 10th annual WLD in 2018 included an estimated 5,000+ participants in at least 35 countries including Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, Uruguay, and the US!
The First WLD in Schools
In 2019, the Australian Labyrinth Network (ALN), in collaboration with TLS, initiated World Labyrinth Day in Schools (now WLD in Educational Settings) on the Friday before World Labyrinth Day. This extension of World Labyrinth Day encourages educational communities to participate in the worldwide movement of walking for peace. An ALN workgroup created and maintains an extensive WLD educational resources page for educators anywhere in the world.
WLD 2020: Walk around the World
In 2020, as we collectively faced the uncertainty and isolation of the pandemic and we were all learning to pivot and connect in new ways, TLS offered a most likely once-in-a-lifetime 24-hour virtual WLD event: Walk around the World. With hundreds of participants and engaging presenters from across the globe beginning in New Zealand and closing in Hawaii, we came together and made the worldwide labyrinth community more tangible, connecting across times zones in addition to the traditional wave of peace moving from one time zone to another.
10,000 Members from 100 Countries
The Labyrinth Society's Global Group on Facebook continues to connect the worldwide labyrinth community with steady use throughout the year and a peak in activity every year around World Labyrinth Day.