National Missionary Day 2019: History, Significance and Celebration: Missionary Day is a regional holiday which is celebrated in Mizoram, India that honours the coming of two Welsh Christian missionaries over a century ago in the state which changes their lifestyle and belief forever. This year, the Missionary Day is going to be observed on Friday, 11 January 2019.
National Missionary Day 2019
Mizoram is a state in Northeast India and the capital city is Aizawl. The name Mizoram is derived from two words that are “Mizo” and “Ram”, where “Mizo” means the name of the inherent residents and “Ram” means land, and as a result Mizoram means “land of the Mizos”.
Missionary Day is always celebrated on 11 January every year and is acknowledged as a public holiday by the state government. On this day government workplaces and educational institutes remain closed on this day.
History of Missionary Day
On 11 January 1894 Rev J H Lorrain and Rev F W Savidge reached the village of Sairang and other areas of the Lushai Hills that is Mizoram. They came from Assam to Mizoram by boat in order to spread Christianity in the province. These missionaries formed a Mizo-English dictionary and initiated teaching the Mizo people to read in their specific language.
They educated them the Gospel, which reformed their entire way of life from their preceding animism. This brings about the transformation of nearly all the Mizos into the new religion. The missionaries then established two Church in Mizoram such as Presbyterian Church and Baptist Church in northern part and in the southern part of the Mizoram respectively.
Previously, the Lushai Hills people had invaded British plantations in the valleys to the south. Also, when British India extended to take account of their territory, they were even loosely controlled. But with the beginning of 11 January 1894 voyage of these two Presbyterian missionaries, bring out a big change forever.
In 1974, the Presbyterian Church in the northern part of Mizoram started celebrating Missionary Day and eventually the state government made it a public holiday.
Missionary Day Celebration
To mark the Missionary Day, it is celebrated joyfully and with lot of prayers. Local people of Mizoram on this day visit their nearby Churches and say their prayers. Many people show up special services on this day, particularly in Presbyterian and Baptist churches in Mizoram for holy rites, devotion to God, and recollection of the blessings that God showed them through the arrival of the Mizoram’s first two missionaries who bring out Gospel to the Mizo people in 1894.
Also people on this day organise community feasts after visiting the Church and their prayers. Friends, family and nearby communities people together celebrate the day and enjoy the grand feast together.