National Day Of Repentance

National Day of Repentance is a public holiday observed on the 26th of August every year in Papua New Guinea. Also known as Repentance Day, this holiday is celebrated with prayer ceremonies held all over the country. It is a day on which people are encouraged to repent for the sins they have committed throughout the year. When it was first established in 2011, it was surrounded by a bit of controversy. Many people considered it a holiday that excluded non-Christians. Muslims in the country at the time did not oppose the holiday but felt that it sent the wrong message about repentance and that people should repent for their sins after they commit them, not yearly. Regardless, this holiday is one in which schools, offices, and businesses are closed, and churches offer special prayer services for their congregations.

The History of National Day of Repentance

This holiday was first proclaimed just 11 days before the first National Day of Repentance was to be observed in 2011 by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. It was created as a public holiday after several churches had requested it to become so. This request was first submitted to O’Neill’s predecessor before he was ousted in a motion of no confidence.

When the holiday was proclaimed, there was no explanation as to how the holiday was to be celebrated in Papua New Guinea. Pastor Jack Edward from the Shema Evangelism Ministry was appointed as the holiday’s director, and he said that the holiday was designed for people to come together, pray, and ultimately ask God for His forgiveness for the wrongs occurring in the country. When the first celebration was held on August 26, 2011, prayer ceremonies were organized in churches located all over the country.

Facts About Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a culturally diverse country known for its beaches and coral reefs. It is also a country known for its dense rainforests and active volcanoes. And those are only a couple of facts we have learned while researching this holiday. We have learned quite a few other things about this country, and some of those facts are listed below.

  • The first European visitor to the country was Portuguese sailor Jorge de Meneses.
  • Jorge de Meneses named one of the islands “Ilhas dos Papuas,” which means “land of fuzzy-haired people.”
  • The first elections involving the indigenous population of the country occurred in 1961.
  • Papua New Guinea covers an area of 462,840 square kilometers.
  • This country has a coastline of approximately 5,152 kilometers.
  • From December to March, the climate in this country is tropical.
  • The terrain of this country is mostly mountainous with rolling foothills and coastal lowlands.
  • The highest point of this country is Mount Wilhelm, a mountain that rises 4,509 meters.

Observing National Day of Repentance

Schools, government buildings, and businesses are closed on this day. In some areas, children place the flag of Papua New Guinea on altars as a symbolic way of dedicating the country to God. This entire holiday is centered around prayer, repentance, and forgiveness.

Where is it celebrated?
Papua New Guinea (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 26 Monday
Next year (2025)
August 26 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
August 26 Saturday