2017 Humanist Calendar

The 2017 Humanist Calendar highlights events and observances that Humanists care about.

Humanism is a secular worldview that focuses on our ethical responsibility and empowerment as individuals, and on our connectivity to and impact on others and the world around us. A lifestance of non-faith fosters an interest in promoting and supporting science and reason.  We seek to cultivate a culture of educated, civic-minded people.

If you’re interested in events, celebrations, and holidays related to Humanism, STEM, Gratitude, Kindness, and Service, this calendar is for you.

Click the thumbnail for a printable pdf calendar:

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scroll below for day descriptions and reference links.

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Days of interest to Humanists – explanations & links

jointoday2Includes events and celebrations in Central Florida that BE. Orlando regularly participates in. We also post events around some of the national days of recognition, as well as including them on our calendar as PSAs with historical and current reference information.

January

  • Distaff Day – A day long event celebrating the fiber arts. Spinners, knitters, crocheters, weavers, and all other fiber art lovers come together for a day of fun and fellowship. Whatever your favorite fiber art, this event is for you!  BE. Orlando hosts a table collecting items for the Warmies Project – our initiative to provide hand-made warmy-cozies to people in need in our communities when the weather gets cold. Learn more: orlandodistaffday.org
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – The third Monday of every January is designated a national day of service by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Points of Light Foundation.  We celebrate  “A day on, not a day off”: investing our day out of the office to make a difference in our communities. BE. Orlando hosts one or more service events on MLK Weekend.  Volunteer with us or visit NationalService.gov/MLKday for national projects & information.
  • Pookies Rescue Fest – Will be held on 1/28/17 this year.  This is the largest animal rescue festival — anywhere?  Just maybe!  All local and regional animal rescue groups and pet vendors of all kinds gather for a day of sharing, adoption, and fun.  The food truck brigade comes out to serve lunch, and there is live music, contests, demonstrations, and more.  Learn more: pookiesrescuefest.org
  • January is National Mentor Month.  Learn more about International Mentor Day, Thank Your Mentor Day, and other mentoring celebrations at Mentoring.org

February

  • Wear Red Day is the first Friday in February. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. This national campaign to wear red and raise awareness informs women about risk reduction and raises funds for research and treatment. Learn more: goredforwomen.org
  • Darwin Day – February 12th – celebrates Darwin’s immense intellectual bravery,  perpetual curiosity, and ravenous hunger for truth.  The Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC) is planning a special event for the Orlando area that will feature nationally known speakers and informational tables. Visit CFFC’s Meetup for more information. Learn more about Darwin Day and find a map of events: DarwinDay.org
  • #OneBillionRising -Held annually on February 14th, this international solidarity against the exploitation of women is based on the staggering statistics that one in every three women will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. Learn more: onebillionrising.org  Here in Central Florida, the SafeHouse of Seminole joins forces with UCF Victim Services and other organizations and task forces for a #OneBillionRising event at the University of Central Florida.
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day – part of RAK Week, RAK day is a focused effort to create random kindness in the world.  Learn more: randomactsofkindness.org

March

  • World Maths Day – Sometimes listed as the first Wednesday in March (other dates are referenced, such as the first day of March), international online games and challenges to engage youth in solving mathematical puzzles and other games.  Also used as a day of global celebration of mathematics and math careers.  Learn more.
  • International Women’s Day – March 8th is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Learn more: internationalwomensday.com
  • Pi Day – Also Einstein’s Birthday, Pi Day celebrates – Pi!  Learn more: PiDay.org
  • Math, Science, & Pi(e) Festival – BE. Orlando’s annual event to bring math & science games to at-risk youth in our community as part of our focus to increase interest in STEM disciplines among disenfranchised demographics.  Join to volunteer with us.

April

  • Ask An Atheist Day – Initiated by the national Secular Student Alliance organization, AaA Day is intended to invite respectful conversation to build bridges across faith-related differences.  Learn more: secularstudents.org/AaAday
  • World Autism Awareness Day – Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events.  Learn more: AutismSpeaks.org
  • Symphony Under the Stars – an annual tradition of BE. Orlando is to attend this free outdoor concert of the UCF Symphony Orchestra.  Join to attend with us, or visit UCF College of Music Calendar for more information
  • Aids Walk Orlando – held in April, this is the largest fundraising event for the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida.  Learn more: aidswalkorlando.org
  • Earth Day – held every year on April 22nd.
  • Central Florida Earth Day Festival – held on a Saturday near Earth Day every year.  BE. Orlando hosts a vendor tent, sometimes in community with other local Humanist organizations, and also hosts the Earth Day Blood Drive. Learn More: CFEarthDay.org
  • DNA Day – commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, and the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953. Learn more at Genome.gov
  • Pay it Forward Day – An international effort (and data collection) engaging all people, from all walks of life,  to give to someone else and make a positive difference. Learn more: PayItForward.com

May

  • STEM-Themed Book Drive – BE. Orlando’s annual effort to support the Heart of Florida United Way’s initiatives to solve summer reading loss issues in our community.  The book drive occurs throughout May.  Our unique book drive seeks specifically STEM-themed books for youth of all ages, as well as those highlighting women and minorities in successful STEM or other roles.  Learn more about our drive at STEM4Youth.wordpress.com.  Relevant books in Spanish are also encouraged.
  • National Day of Reason (NDoR) – NDoR is held in parallel with the National Day of Prayer, on the first Thursday in May each year. The goal of this effort is to celebrate reason—a concept all Americans can support—and to raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship. Learn more: NationalDayOfReason.org
  • Towel Day – A tribute to Douglas Adams.  Learn more at TowelDay.org
  • National Letter Carrier’s Food Drive – Literacy isn’t the only challenge over the summer.  Students whose primary nutrition comes from school programs experience reduced access to food during school breaks.  Join in this national effort by donating food and/or volunteering at your local food bank to sort and distribute donations.

June

  • World Oceans Day – a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future.  Learn more: worldoceansday.org
  • World Blood Donor Day – Hosted internationally on June 14th by the World Health Organization, WBDD encourages education about blood donorship and about regional challenges with donorship and blood supply management.  It encourages everyone to learn about their potential impact as donors and to donate blood on this day – and throughout the year.  Learn more: WHO WBDD Data and Resources (2016 WBDD)
  • World Humanist Day – On June 21st, hosted by the International Humanist and Ethical Union, is an opportunity for humanists and humanist organizations to publicize the positive values of Humanism and to share the global concerns of the Humanist movement. Learn More: iheu.org/humanism/world-humanist-day/
  • HFUW Day of Action– On June 21st (or the closest Weekday), United Ways across the nation host Day of Caring volunteerism events.  In Central Florida, the Heart of Florida United Way hosts literacy-specific events where volunteers read with or do fun literacy projects with youth in our community.  At these events, children receive books donated in the May book drive.  books from that drive are also used to support literacy initiatives at United Way partner agencies throughout the summer.  Join us to volunteer with BE at the project we adopt or visit the HFWU.org for more information on the Day of Action.
  • LGBT Equality Day – On June 26th, three historic decisions regarding LGBT equality have been made by the Supreme Court of the United States:
    • in 2003, SCOTUS ruled that states could no longer criminalize the private intimate conduct of same-sex couples (Lawrence v. Texas)
    • in 2013, SCOTUS overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA),  ruling that legally married same-sex couples deserve all of the rights, benefits and protections provided by marriage under federal law. (United States v. Windsor)
    • In 2015, SCOTUS ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. (bergefell v. Hodges)
  • Tau Day – Put up your dukes, math geeks – the debate on whether Tau should replace Pi rages on!  Tau is 2Π, and is celebrated on June 28th.

July

  • Palindrome Day  – A palindromic number is similar to lexical palindromes – they are the same forward as backward.  A Palindrome date, when written in a certain format, appears as a palindromic number – for example, 7102017 (7/10/2017).
  • Pi Approximation Day – “Casual Pi Day” or Pi Approximation Day is held on July 22 (7/22) signifying the fraction 7/22 as an estimation of Pi (3.141592653589….).  Note this only works in countries where the month precedes the day in standard format.

August

  • Pythagorean Theorem Day – a^2 + b^2 = c^2, where a= month, b= day, and c= year. what a great day to do math activities with children and teach them about Pythagoras. Upcoming Pythagorean Theorem Days are
    • August 15, 2017 (8/15/17 or 15/8/17): 8² + 15² = 17²
    • December 16, 2020 (12/16/20 or 16/12/20): 12² + 16² = 20²
    • July 24, 2025 (7/24/25 or 24/7/25): 7² + 24² = 25²
  • World Humanitarian Day – The  sixty-third session of the UN General Assembly designated 19 August as World Humanitarian Day.  August 19th is the anniversary of a terrorist attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad. The day honors those who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and those who continue to bring assistance and relief to millions.  It also seeks to educate the public about global humanitarian needs and the importance of international cooperation to address these needs.  Learn more: UN.org

September

  • BE. Orlando Founder’s Day –  BE. Orlando has been serving the greater Orlando community and the Humanist interests of our members since its founding day, September 2, 2011.  We engage in volunteerism, activism, and advocacy. Join us to be part of our events in Central Florida.
  • 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance –  Visit 911day.org to find information, resources, and engagement opportunities on this important day of remembering the strength of community.  Did you know that Meetup.com was founded by people who lived near the Twin Towers, and wanted to create an online tool to help people come together in our communities?  We are proud to host our event calendar on Meetup and we honor the intent of Meetup and the initiatives of our nation by encouraging our members to reflect and to volunteer on this day.
  • International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICCD) – Held annually in September by the Ocean Conservancy, ICCD engages volunteers around the world in waterway cleanups and data collection.  Learn more: oceanconservancy.org
  • Talk Like a Pirate Day –  “ARRRR me hearties!” and the like. Learn more: talklikeapirate.com.  Our celebration of TLAPD goes back to the days long before BE was founded, when we ran amok with a kayak group called FOCK (Florida Outdoor Camping & Kayak) which later became FLOAT (Florida Outdoor Adventure Troupe). We had kayak pirate adventures – including more than 50 kayaks with pirate flags & kids & adults dressed as pirates on one of our TLAPD events. Later we began using a pirate theme for our blood donor group, PintClub, and our International Coastal Cleanup Day events.  We may not be much into the pirate events these days, but we be havin’ swashbucklin’* fun for true, savvy?  And in the words of the founders of TLAPD: It’s fun, so why not?
    • Swashbuckle. verb. 1. engage in daring adventures with ostentatious bravado or flamboyance. 2. to jump off stuff and laugh.
  • World Gratitude Day – Occurring on September 21st, this day was officially started by the United Nations Meditation Group in 1977.  There are references indicating that it was started at a dinner party in Hawaii in 1965, and later brought to the meditation group, thus eventually becoming official.  World Gratitude Day is meaningful to Humanists because mindful living and appreciation of the good have personal, mental, professional, physical, and cultural benefits.  However, for many people of faith, the practice of gratitude is related specifically to the supernatural, and people of non-faith become stigmatized as being unable to feel or express complex human experiences and emotions like Gratitude.  Learn more about Secular Gratitude and find examples of secular reflections and graces at SecularGratitude.wordpress.com (a project of BE. Orlando)
  • World Peace Day –  The United Nations General Assembly has declared September 21st as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.Learn more: un.org/en/events/peaceday/
  • HFUW Day of Caring– During the month of September, the United Way hosts region-wide volunteer projects to engage local businesses and organizations in service.  Join us to volunteer with BE at the project we adopt or visit the HFWU.org for more information on the Day of Caring.

October

  • Costume Drive for SafeHouse of Seminole – Started in 2013 by a freshman student at UCF whose birthday is on Halloween, and who wanted to spend his day giving to others. He raised the funds and costume donations to supply all of the SafeHouse residents with costumes.  We join in this effort and encourage our members and our community to support this young man and his efforts to make sure that every child can enjoy the festivities with their peers and not feel left out.  Join us in this and other efforts to make a difference.
  • Central Florida Veg Fest – Held on a Saturday in October, this festival hosts hundreds of vegan food vendors, organic clothing vendors, gardening market, an animal rescue haven, an artist’s corner, and more. What a unique place to get an early start on unique holiday shopping! BE. Orlando hosts a vendor tent and hosts the Veg Fest Blood Drive.  Learn more: CFVegFest.org
  • Orlando Pride Parade – The pride parade is part of the focal point of Pride Week in Orlando.  Held at Lake Eola, this extraordinary event celebrates the diversity of our community.  Learn more: comeoutwithpride.com
  • Mole Day -You guessed it – Celebrated on October 23, 6:02 a.m. – 6:02 p.m., Mole Day commemorates Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 1023), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry.  Learn More: MoleDay.org
  • Make a Difference Day – People come together with a single purpose: to improve the lives of others.  Join the Points of Light Foundation and other sponsors in promoting the importance of recognizing our own power to make the world a better place – and put our power into action. Learn more: makeadifferenceday.com

November

  • World Kindness Day – Observed on November 13th, it is an international observance  introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement a coalition of nations kindness NGOs.  Learn more from the World Kindness Movement or visit wavesofkindness.org
  • National Philanthropy  Day – Celebrated annually on November 15, this day is a signature event of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).  Philanthropy means the love of humankind; this day celebrates people of the world who come together to both (1) put that word into action and (2) recognize the change that word has brought to our communities. Learn more: AFPnet.org
  • Family Volunteer Day – On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the Points of Light Foundation kicks off the holiday spirit of giving with a day of service that celebrates the power of families who work together to support their communities and neighborhoods. Volunteering is a great way for kids and adults to bond, make new friends, develop compassion for their neighbors, and even pick up a new skill or two! Learn more at Points of Light
  • Fibonacci DayNovember 23 is celebrated as Fibonacci day because when the date is written in the mm/dd format (11/23), the digits in the date form a Fibonacci sequence: 1,1,2,3. A Fibonacci sequence is a series of integers where a each is the sum of the two preceding it. What a great day to engage youth in pattern activities using the Fibonacci numbers, including tile square puzzles and spiral building.

December

  • STEM-Themed Holiday Toy Drive – In support of our mission to foster STEM interest in at-risk youth in our community, we support the gift drives at local shelters by collecting STEM-themed toys in collaboration with other secular and Humanist organizations in our area.  Learn more: STEM4youth.wordpress.com
  • International Volunteer Day – mandated by the UN General Assembly, IVD is held each year on 5 December. It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.Learn more: UN.gov
  • International Human Rights Day –  In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day. Learn more: un.org/en/events/humanrightsday
  • Elfing Day – BE. Orlando’s original holiday – and our favorite day of the year.  This is the day when we sort and deliver the gifts collected in our drives and deliver them to local shelters.  The shelters are per-determined so the donors know where their gifts will be distributed. Join us for our members’ Elfing Day breakfast – but most of all you can help by supporting the holiday gift drives! Learn more at STEM4youth.wordpress.com.
  • Festivus – On December 23rd,  “Happy Festivus” is the traditional greeting associated with a mock holiday featured in the Season 9 episode of Seinfeld named “The Strike” on December 18, 1997. Since then, many people have been inspired by this zany, offbeat holiday that includes a Festivus pole, the “airing of grievances” and the “feats of strength.” Learn More: festivusweb.com
  • Human Light CelebrationCelebrate and express positive humanist ideals and values: Reason, Compassion, Hope, Humanity. Promote a positive vision of a better future — a future in which all people can identify with each other and try to behave with high moral standards — a future which people can build by working together for a happy, just and peaceful world. Celebrate human achievements that help build that future. Learn more: humanlight.njhn.org/wp