• A new and improved illiturgical secular calendar

    Several years ago, Jack Vance called for a movement-wide calendar.  No doubt many have since answered that call, but I’m going to go ahead and weigh in anyhow with my own incredibly subjective sense of which particular irreligious days we atheists and skeptics should consider celebrating. (Please note that annually shifting dates are set to their 2015 values.)

    January 1st – Epic Hangover and Annual Resolution Day, aka New Year’s

    A time to buckle down on all that self-improvement we’ve been putting off since giving up on our resolutions last March. Gym memberships are ½ off!

    January 16thNational Religious Freedom Day

    Probably the most underappreciated of all the commemorative days proclaimed by the President of the United States, this is a day for my fellow citizens to celebrate the first legal steps towards founding a designedly secular republic. “American exceptionalism” is usually just an applause light, but in this case the phrase is perfectly apt.

    February 12thDarwin Day

    A day to celebrate the discovery that all of life on Earth is interrelated and the advance of scientific knowledge in general.

    “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” – Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, 1st edition, 1859.

    While you’re attending the Phylum Feast, be sure to try the Primordial Soup.

    March 14thPi Day

    A day to celebrate the irrationality at the heart of the universe. If you know any mathematicians, try giving them a hug after carefully explaining the value of human contact.

    March 20th – Vernal Equinox

    One of the few days on most any calendar set by the nature of the solar system rather than the course of human events, the vernal equinox occurs every spring when the plane of the equator intersects the center of the Sun.

    Traditionally, this is a time to celebrate fertility. Try to get (someone) pregnant if you have a willing partner. Failing that, there is always chocolate.

    April 1stApril Fool’s Day

    It is written in the Jewish Scriptures that the fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

    Left unsaid here is that it would have been far more foolish to say it aloud back in the day when apostasy was still a capital offense.

    It’s not just a day for atheists, though. This is truly my favorite day of the year because almost everyone has their skeptical radar up and running—for one day a year people of ordinary credulity are on the lookout for bogus claims even from usually trustworthy sources. Put another way, these people get to experience what feels like to be a skeptic every other day of the year.

    As a bonus, we get to tell creative lies without facing the usual disapprobation.

    April 16thAsk an Atheist Day

    This is a day to come out to friends and family as a secular person and then field the inevitable awkward questions which will arise as a result. Notably, this day was invented by the ISSI under the leadership of Skeptic Ink’s own Edward Clint.

    April 23rdOpenly Secular Day

    Held exactly one week after “Ask an Atheist Day” for completely unfathomable reasons, this is yet another day to come out to friends and family as a secular person and then field the inevitable awkward questions which will arise as a result.

    May 7th (First Thursday) – National Day of Reason

    A day to push back against the commingling of church and state in the form of the National Day of Prayer. For those more inclined towards doing charitable work instead of symbolic protest, try holding a “Rational Day of Care” instead.

    National_Day_Of_Reason_OKC_2003
    National Day Of Reason OKC 2003” by Tergiversant (Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikipedia)

    May 20thDraw Mohammed Day

    A day to push back against those who believe their religious prohibitions should apply to people outside of their faith. As Notung has aptly said, “The best response to demands that a particular form of expression should be stifled is to actively defy those demands.”

    May 25thTowel Day

    A day to celebrate the life and wisdom of Douglas Adams. If you really want to do this in style, carry your towel with you all day and hitchhike instead of driving.

    June 21st – Summer Solstice, Atheist Solidarity Day

    Another astronomical holiday, marked by the moment at which the Earth attains maximal axial tilt towards the Sun, here in the Northern Hemisphere. Word has it they call this the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, for some reason.

    As to the burgeoning concept of atheist solidarity, well, there have been more than a few bumps in that road.

    July 31stNational Talk in an Elevator Day

    A day to overcome certain acculturated social barriers and learn to open up to other people whom we barely know. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but no sex invites.

    September 5thInternational Bacon Day

    Celebrated by members of the United Church of Bacon, for obvious reasons.

    September 19thInternational Talk Like a Pirate Day

    Considered a high holiday by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, for obvious reasons.

    September 22nd – Autumnal Equinox

    What I said before about the spring equinox, but in Australia and other such places south of the equator. Traditionally marked by a mid-harvest feast in pre-Christian Europe.

    October 31st – Halloween

    Technically this is a religious holiday, so I didn’t want it on the list, but it ranked pretty high in the informal voting which I conducted when you weren’t looking. For whatever reason, atheists love playing dress-up and eating candy.

    November 5th – Guy Fawkes Day

    A day to celebrate foiling religious terrorism, modern day graphic novels, and something about mass-produced plastic masks.

    December 21st – Winter Solstice

    Don’t feel bad about appropriating the trappings of Xmas, you guys, most of them were stolen from the pagans. It is of some note that my local atheist group has been celebrating this event continuously since 2001. It may well be our oldest known tradition.

    December 23rdFestivus

    For the rest of us.

    I probably left some worthy secular celebration days off the list, so please feel free to add yours in the comments.

    Category: AtheismFeaturedSecularism

    Article by: Damion Reinhardt

    Former fundie finds freethought fairly fab.