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World Humanist Day

June 21

World Humanist Day is celebrated annually on June 21 as a way to spread information-and combat misinformation-about the positive aspects of humanism as a philosophical life stance and means to affect change in the world.

The origins date back to the 1980s, when several local state chapters of the American Humanist Association (AHA) began celebrating World Humanist Day. But different chapters had different ideas as to when that day should be. Some chapters, for example, preferred the anniversary of the founding of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), while other chapters celebrated a Humanist Day on different dates of significance. In the late 1980s-early 1990s, the AHA and then the IHEU passed resolutions declaring the Summer Solstice to be World Humanist Day. In both cases it was done as twin resolutions: the first to decide that there should actually be a World Humanist Day, the second to decide when that day should be.

At present, World Humanist Day isn't widely celebrated although several other groups and organizations are beginning to recognize the holiday and plan events and activities.

Humanists across the country should consider celebrating a holiday that is specifically geared to showing the positive side of their beliefs and activities. Humanists can use this significant date as a time to educate the public in their local area about this often misunderstood worldview, and to gather and celebrate as a community which continues to contribute to the progress and education of the world.

The American Humanist Association, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the Council for Secular Humanism, the Campus Freethought Alliance and the Secular Student Alliance currently celebrate World Humanist Day.

Activity Suggestions

Humanist Picnic

For humanist groups, a picnic, is a particularly good way to celebrate World Humanist Day. Pick a local park area (one with a gazebo or picnic area and an area for grilling is best for this kind of gathering) and then choose a time (between 11 and 3 is good). Ask everyone in the group to bring some sort of covered dish, and provide basic grilling foods (hotdogs, hamburgers, vegetarian alternatives, buns, plates, cups, drinks, utensils and condiments). Bring along items such as blankets, frisbees, blowing bubbles, sports equipment (soccer, touch football, or softball equipment works well) and toys for children. Favorite humanist texts can be read aloud, and the time can be spent socializing with fellow humanists in a relaxed, natural environment. This sort of activity is an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all.

Event Resources

Humanism in Brief

Introduction to Humanism

Manifestoes and other statements of humanism

Humanist Manifesto III

Amsterdam Declaration of Humanism