List of secular holidays

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The following is a list of secular holidays, some of which support the advances of science and human rights.

January 1: New Year's Day[edit]

The beginning of the year. Celebrated around the world. Called Dia da Fraternidade Universal ("Universal Brotherhood Day") in Portugal and Brazil. Although now it is mostly a secular holiday, it was both a Roman (celebrating the god Janus) and Christian holiday (Feast of the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus).

January 16: National Religious Freedom Day[edit]

One's beliefs or nonbeliefs "shall in no [ways] diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
—Thomas Jefferson

Date of adoption of Thomas Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom in Virginia, which protected atheists, Muslims, and Christians alike.[1]

January 29: Thomas Paine Day[edit]

T Pain helped found the modern secularist movement.[2]

February 12: Darwin Day[edit]

Charles Darwin's birthday (in 1809).[3] Has memes.[4][5]

February 15: Galileo Day (or Galileo Gala)[edit]

Galileo Galilei's birthday.[6] Has memes.[7][8]

February 19: Copernicus Day (or Copernicus Celebration)[edit]

Nicolaus Copernicus' birthday.[9]

March 6: The Day of the Dude[edit]

Release date of The Big LebowskiWikipedia and therefore Dudeist holiday.[10]

March 8: International Women's Day[edit]

Women matter.[11]

March 14: Pi Day[edit]

Bakers also have a hard time with Pi Day by sometimes making pi cakes

Celebrating the fact that mathematicians will never get π exactly right.

March 16: Freedom of Information Day (followed by Sunshine Week)[edit]

Day celebrating the ability to peer into government records — what is more democratic than knowing what your government is doing?[12]

March 20-23: Spring Equinox (or Vernal Equinox), in Northern Hemisphere[edit]

The day varies between March 20 and March 23 in the Northern Hemisphere. The day represents the "rebirth" of good crop weather.[13] Has shitty memes.[14][15]

1st Sunday after 1st full moon after March 20: Eastre (or Eostre)[edit]

Alternative to Easter. Celebrates the Anglo-Saxon goddess of sex, love, fertility (hence rabbits and eggs).[16] Has been appropriated by those nasty Christians.[17] Has memes.[18][19][20]

April 1: Atheist's Day/Saint Stupid's Day[edit]

Saint Stupid would have given us free iPhones & ponies if he had thought of them.

Because April Fool's needed an owner.[21][22] April 1 is also the only holiday of the The First Church of the Last Laugh, known as Saint Stupid's Day.[23]

April 12: Cosmonaut's Day (or Yuri's Night)[edit]

Celebrates space and technology and the principles of freethinking.[24]

April 22: International Earth Day[edit]

The Earth is pretty nice, maybe we should try and keep it that way.[25]

April 25: Freedom Day[edit]

Strictly a Portuguese holiday (celebrating the Carnation RevolutionWikipedia of 1974, which brought down the regime founded by António de Oliveira Salazar), but can also be seen as the definitive beginning of the end of colonialism (the Portuguese EmpireWikipedia, the last of its kind, started colapsing at this point).

Also, in 1945, the Soviets and the Americans ended World War II in Europe by meeting at the Elbe River near Torgau inWikipedia Germany, while Italians celebrate Liberation DayWikipedia which celebrates the end of the so-called "Italian Social Republic"Wikipedia (aka Benito Mussolini's German-controlled puppet state after he was deposed by the king and freed from his imprisonment by the Germans). Total anti-fascist day!

April 30: Honesty Day[edit]

Honesty, especially of intellectual inquiry, is surely a humanist value.[26]

May 1: International Workers' Day[edit]

The version of Labor Day that is celebrated by most countries in the world and recognised by the United Nations. Commemmorates the Haymarket affairWikipedia (which actually happened on May 4, 1886), an early notable workers' rights violation.

Also overlaps with May Day, a holiday of religious (Pagan) origin celebrating Spring, but nowadays is a secular celebration.

1st Thursday of May: National Day of Reason (and National Day of Prayer)[edit]

The NDR was created by the American Humanist Association and Washington Area Secular Humanists in 2003.[27] NDR celebrates constitutionalism and rationality. The day is a contrast to the NDP.[28]

May 25: International Jedi Day[edit]

A date "to honour Jediism and the path".[29]

June 19: Juneteenth[edit]

Emancipation Day in 1900, which later became known as Juneteenth

First reading of the Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in Texas. Recognized by 43 states.[30]

June 21: World Humanist Day[edit]

A day to show that humanism exists and is a positive force.[31]

June 20-23: Summer Solstice[edit]

Longest day of the year (northern hemisphere).[32]

July 1: Barre Day[edit]

Date of execution of the Chevalier de la Barre for impiety in 1766.[33]

July 4: American Independence Day[edit]

July 4th fireworks, Washington, D.C.

American Independence Day: The origins of a country with strong constitutional backings for irreligion, especially at the time.

July 5: X-Day[edit]

Church of the SubGenius holyday. Was supposed to be the apocalypse in 1998.[34][35]

July 14: Bastille Day[edit]

AKA French National Day. The Storming of the BastilleWikipedia (1789), a turning point of the French Revolution, which represented the beginning of the end of feudalism as well as the power of Enlightenment ideas.

August 1: Emancipation Day[edit]

Date of end of (literal) slavery in almost all of the British Empire.[36]

September 8: International Literacy Day[edit]

Reading matters. UNESCO holiday.[37]

September 14: Google Appreciation Day[edit]

Hail Google! Church of Google holiday.[38]

September 19: International Talk Like A Pirate Day[edit]

Pastafarian holiday. Y'arrr![39][40]

September 21: International Day of Peace[edit]

UN Holiday.[41]

September 20-23: Fall Equinox[edit]

Equal length days and nights.

Last week of September: Banned Books Week[edit]

Freedom of knowledge is a key tenet of humanism.[42]

September 30: International Blasphemy Day[edit]

Center For Inquiry holiday. A day for exploring blasphemy laws in the world currently and historically; examining current de facto religious bans on free speech; reframing the "religious freedom" debate[43][44][45][46][47][48][49]

October: Freethought Month[edit]

A month inspired by a community of German freethinkers in Texas.[50]

October 5: Atheist Appreciation Day[edit]

A fine international annual tradition of showing appreciation for atheists everywhere.[51]

October 11: National Coming Out Day[edit]

Pro-LGBTQ and pro-openness-about-LGBTQ-status holiday.[52]

October 12: National Freethought Day[edit]

Another "coming out" day — this time, for atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers.[53]

October 20–26: United Nations Week[edit]

Includes United Nations Day (see below).

October 24: United Nations Day[edit]

Day (of 1945) on which the United Nations CharterWikipedia (the document which founded the United Nations) entered into force.

October 31: Halloween[edit]

Halloween parade in New York City
See the main article on this topic: Halloween

Day of candy and/or Satanist trickery.[54][55][56][57]

Week of Thanksgiving Holiday: Church/State Separation Week[edit]

To celebrate not living in a theocracy.[58]

Fourth Thursday in November: Thanksgiving[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Thanksgiving

Day of thanks and/or gluttony.[59]

December 10: International Human Rights Day[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Human rights

Day of not living in an autocracy.[60]

December 20-23: Winter Solstice[edit]

Shortest day of the year (northern hemisphere).[61]

December 23: Festivus ("For the rest of us")[edit]

A Festivus pole
Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
—the origin of Festivus

Anti-consumerist and secular Christmas variant.[62] Has memes.[63][64][65]

December 25: Holiday (as in, "Happy Holiday", also "FSMas")[edit]

Pastafarian holiday. Happy Holiday! [sic][66] Has artwork.[67][68]

December 25: Newtonmas[edit]

Isaac Newton's birthday, a secular, scientific Christmas variant.[69]

December 31: Hogswatch[edit]

Discworld/Pratchett holiday. Pun on "hogwash" and "Hogmanay", the Scottish New Year celebration. In the Discworld universe, it is celebrated much like Christmas, but the pseudo-Christian "Omnians" call it "Fast of St Ossory".[70] Has memes.[71][72]


  1. See the Wikipedia article on National Religious Freedom Day.
  9. See the Wikipedia article on Nicolaus Copernicu.
  11. See the Wikipedia article on International Women%27s Day.
  22. See the Wikipedia article on April Fools%27 Day.
  23. The First Church of the Last Laugh (FCLL)
  25. See the Wikipedia article on Earth Day.
  26. See the Wikipedia article on Honesty Day.
  27. See the Wikipedia article on National Day of Reason.
  30. See the Wikipedia article on Juneteenth.
  32. See the Wikipedia article on Summer solstice.
  34. See the Wikipedia article on X-Day (Church of the SubGenius).
  36. See the Wikipedia article on Emancipation Day.
  37. See the Wikipedia article on International Literacy Day.
  52. See the Wikipedia article on National Coming Out Day.
  59. See the Wikipedia article on Thanksgiving (United States).