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A Humanist Calendar

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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lewist
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A Humanist Calendar

#1 Post by lewist » September 25th, 2007, 1:27 pm

Over the past few days some of us have posted on a thread about whether we celebrate Christmas. However, this morning Alan’s mediascan came up with this fascinating article which is about days we might celebrate as Humanists. As the idea goes beyond the original 'festive season' thread, I felt it was worth a separate thread.

Here are some of the days the article identifies:

12 February - Darwin Day
21 March – spring equinox/ Earth Day
3 May - American non-believers hold the National Day of Reason, on in part to celebrate reason and in part to protest the National Day of Prayer on the same day.
21 September - autumn equinox/ International Day of Peace. This is something most humanists can get behind.
25 December - Newton's birthday

What do we think? Does it all smack of goddism? If we want a national day do we go for the saint’s day as St Andrew, St David, etc? If not then when?

What days might we add to the list above? How might we celebrate them?
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

Fred
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#2 Post by Fred » September 25th, 2007, 2:12 pm

I didn't know 25 December was Newton's birthday. Happy Crispmas everyone :D
Fred

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Alan C.
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#3 Post by Alan C. » September 25th, 2007, 2:21 pm

I like to mark (not really celebrate) the equinox's and the solstice's, although it's always around the equinox's that we get our worst gales, we're having one now :sad:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Alan H
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#4 Post by Alan H » September 25th, 2007, 3:26 pm

Fred wrote:I didn't know 25 December was Newton's birthday. Happy Crispmas everyone :D
Fred

Instead of being so flippant, can't we treat the subject of Newton with some gravitas?

:-)

Alan

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jaywhat
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#5 Post by jaywhat » September 25th, 2007, 3:41 pm

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE

Do not occur on the same day every year. The recent autumn equinox was 23rd September and is more often that and 22nd.

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scogirl
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#6 Post by scogirl » September 25th, 2007, 4:45 pm

Burns Day (as in Rabbie Burns)

Any excuse to have haggis, neeps & tatties.. Mmmmmm
If I ever catch you actin' like crazy fool again, you're gonna meet my friend PAIN

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Alan C.
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#7 Post by Alan C. » September 25th, 2007, 5:33 pm

EQUINOX AND SOLSTICE
No need to shout, I know they're not always on the same date, is that relevant? Easter isn't on the same date every year either.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

tubataxidriver
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#8 Post by tubataxidriver » September 25th, 2007, 8:30 pm

Seasons only became observable and interesting when humans migrated out of the tropics and hunted migrating animals, and became really important only with the development of agriculture, leading to the establishment of the calendar.

Festival days based on these events were then taken up by religious regimes. The plethora of saints days and similar festivals in other religions are more to do with getting the punters (and their cash) through the door than any need for recognition and rememberance.

I think a humanist festival calendar should be around these important seasonal / agricultural events (hence local) and also significant dates of significant people, of which Darwin, Newton etc. would be good examples.

petra10
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#9 Post by petra10 » September 25th, 2007, 8:52 pm

Dont see the point of celebrating any days.It would only end up comercialised like all the rest.
I like to make a fuss of the kids on their birthdays.Its their special day and we have fun celebrating it.

Fred
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#10 Post by Fred » September 26th, 2007, 9:22 am

petra10 wrote:Dont see the point of celebrating any days.It would only end up comercialised like all the rest.
Of course we could always boycott the commercialism and just have a party.

Talking of commercialism - where did all this Hallowe'en cr@p come from?
Fred

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Alan C.
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#11 Post by Alan C. » September 26th, 2007, 12:04 pm

Fred
where did all this Hallowe'en cr@p come from?
Halloween originated under the name of Samhain as a Pagan festival among the Celts of Ireland and Great Britain. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries have embraced the holiday as a part of American pop culture in the late twentieth century.
It was the Americans that made it the over the top, commercial spendfest that it is today.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Chineapple punk
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#12 Post by Chineapple punk » September 26th, 2007, 5:38 pm

I must admit I hate to hear kids say "trick or treat". That's a fairly new phenomenon in Britain. When I was a young sproglet we used to go round the doors asking if the neighbours would give us "anything for our Halloween", and in return you would tell a joke or sing a song.

Valentine's Day does my head in as well, especially if your at work and every five minutes a courier arrives with cuddly toys, chocolates, champagne, balloons, CD's........ Whatever happened to just giving someone a card (if you had to) at that was the end of it!
Give quiche a chance.

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Alan C.
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#13 Post by Alan C. » September 26th, 2007, 5:45 pm

Chineapple punk
When I was a young sproglet we used to go round the doors asking if the neighbours would give us "anything for our Halloween"
For us, it was "penny for the jack-o-lantern" which was a hollowed out neep with a face cut out and a candle inside, (non of your pumpkins in my day)
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Chineapple punk
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#14 Post by Chineapple punk » September 26th, 2007, 5:49 pm

Thats right! :hilarity: We hollowed out neeps too, I remember it being bloody hard work!
Give quiche a chance.

Maria Mac
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#15 Post by Maria Mac » September 26th, 2007, 6:03 pm

petra10 wrote:Dont see the point of celebrating any days.It would only end up comercialised like all the rest.
I like to make a fuss of the kids on their birthdays.Its their special day and we have fun celebrating it.
I see you're a woman after my own heart, Petra. However, I've come to think that marking some days wouldn't be a bad thing. As with Darwin Day, the emphasis could be on the educational rather than on gluttony and consumerism. I don't call going out on a called February night to hear the Darwin Day lecture, 'celebrating'. I wouldn't mind seeing much more marking of Darwin Day in schools and in the media and perhaps making more of the birthdays of people who have contributed in the arts as well as the sciences. Celebrate human achievement and creativity with suitable community and school events would seem an appropriate humanist response to religious festivals and saints days.

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Never
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#16 Post by Never » September 27th, 2007, 3:57 am

What's a neep? :puzzled:

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jaywhat
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#17 Post by jaywhat » September 27th, 2007, 6:20 am

Apologies to Alan C.
As we all know one can always miss the 'feel' of a comment without the eye contact.
However, accidentally having one's caps lock on is not really shouting is it? As for is any of this relevant - of course not. Mind you the Easter farce with huge date changes is a menace to school terms and all sorts of other things.
Yes the commercialsim will take over - and xmas is here already. Forgot my shopping bag on Monday and shame to say had to use a Co-op plastic one - covered with xmasstuff!

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Alan H
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#18 Post by Alan H » September 27th, 2007, 6:21 am

A neep is a Scots word for turnip (what some people call a swede, depending on which part of the country you're from!) Turnips are the yellow ones and swedes are white.

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Gurdur
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#19 Post by Gurdur » September 27th, 2007, 9:09 am

Can we have at least a couple of Celtic days in there with mead, naked dancing round bonfires and whatnot, and/or Sacrificing With Extreme Prejudice anyone we really, really don't like?

Maria Mac
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#20 Post by Maria Mac » September 27th, 2007, 10:24 am

Alan H wrote:Turnips are the yellow ones and swedes are white.
No, actually it's the other way round. I was in Tesco's in Shettleston yesterday and bought both. The items they'd labelled swedes were yellow the neeps were white.

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