World Holy Name Day was established by the GBC in honor of Srila Prabhupada’s Centennial celebrations in 1996, to honor the anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in the West. World Holy Name Day has since expanded into World Holy Name Week, which every year inspires devotees to please Srila Prabhupada and to purify themselves and the world through the chanting of the holy names throughout the days.
World Holy Name Week celebrated the 50th anniversary of ISKCON this year in style, running for closer to two-and-a-half weeks, from July 28th to August 14th. The celebration, organized by Lokanath Swami, Janananda Goswami, and Ekalavya Das, included several key sacred days throughout its run, including the disappearance days of Sri Raghunandana Thakura and Sri Vamsidasa Babaji. Most notably it included the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of ISKCON in New York on July 28th, and the 50th anniversary of the first public Harinam Sankirtan in the Western World, on August 14th.
Harinam Sankirtan or the congregational chanting of the Holy Name, initiated and propagated by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, continues to be carried out throughout the world with great pomp and splendor. However, the Middle Eastern countries, being slightly sensitive towards religious matters and public display of devotion, had never before witnessed a performance of public Harinam.
World Holy Name Week (WHNW), first established in 2008, is increasing in popularity with forty-three ISKCON Centers worldwide.
The event was first launched by ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission in 1996 as a one-day celebration to commemorate 100 years since ISKCON Founder Srila Prabhupada’s birth. It was lengthened to a week-long event in 2008, and has been held every year since. Scheduled for September 5th through 15th this year, WHNW will be packed with sacred Vaishnava holidays.
At least forty-three different ISKCON temples around the world celebrated World Holy Name Week from September 17th to 26th this year, in a variety of creative ways.
This year ISKCON`s World Holy Name Week (WHNW) will take place between September 17th and the 26th, 2013. The sole purpose of WHNW is to celebrate the Holy Names globally and share this treasure with others. This can be done in many ways.