June 21, 2019
Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr
World Humanist Day is a Humanist holiday celebrated annually around the world on June solstice, which usually falls on June 21.
There is a philosophy of belief that indicates that humanity is more than just the puppets of some divine being or subject to a list of metaphysical oddities and creatures with their own designs. Instead, humanism believes that we are whole in and of ourselves and that our good behavior and civility is not reliant on anything except a true and honest desire to be decent people. Most of all this philosophy raises the importance of personal responsibility, if we behave as monsters, it is we who are monsters, there is no “The Devil Made Me Do It”. World Humanist Day celebrates this ideology and those who practice it, bringing reason and science to the world of faith and irrationality.
According to Humanists International, the day is a way of spreading awareness of Humanism as a philosophical life stance and means to effect change in the world. It is also seen as a time for Humanists to gather socially and promote the positive values of Humanism.
The way in which it is celebrated differs greatly from country to country, with some groups hosting parties and others favoring conferences and activism. The main point of World Humanist Day is to try and make the world a better place by increasing the public’s knowledge of scientific methods in hope that it will dispel many age-old myths.
Well-known supporters of World Humanist Day include the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, best-selling author Phillip Pullman, the philosopher AC Grayling and the comedian Tim Minchin.
The holiday developed during the 1980s as several chapters of the American Humanist Association (AHA) began to celebrate it. At the time, the date on which it was celebrated varied from chapter to chapter, with selections such as the founding date of the HI (formerly IHEU), or other significant dates. From the late 1980s to the early 1990s, the AHA and HI passed resolutions declaring World Humanist Day to be on the northern summer solstice.
Today we celebrate World Humanist Day and recognize Humanism as a philosophy which many of us look up to.