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Atheistic Holiday

A holiday specifically for athiests
  (+14, -8)
(+14, -8)
  [vote for,

I suggest that, considering that there are a few different holidays based on religious occurences, there should be a holiday for the four percent of us that are atheists.
apocalyps956, Jan 25 2007

April 13th ? http://www.american...olumns/sfv8-97.html
[jutta, Jan 25 2007]

Festivus, Dec 23rd? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festivus
[jutta, Jan 25 2007]

April 1st? http://www.snopes.c...eligion/atheist.asp
[jutta, Jan 25 2007]

Pastafarianism http://en.wikipedia...g_Spaghetti_Monster
RAmen [apocalyps956, Jan 25 2007]

UK Public Holidays http://www.dti.gov....holidays/index.html
[DrBob, Jan 26 2007]

atheists have their own dating page... http://www.freethin...eist&OVMTC=advanced
[xandram, Jan 28 2007]

Merry Winter Solstice http://www.american...ersol-sun-moon.html
Atheists party down on the shortest day of the year. [quantum_flux, Nov 20 2007]

Brights http://www.the-brights.net/
Alternative terminology [imaginality, Nov 25 2007]

(?) I Before E, if Taken with Caffeine http://jef.raskince...hed/i_before_e.html
By the late Jef Raskin. Mentions atheism as one of the exceptions. [jutta, Nov 26 2007]


       "I once once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up - they have no holidays" -Henny Youngman
apocalyps956, Jan 25 2007

       ~3.8%, I think.
apocalyps956, Jan 25 2007

       Like the "Summer Birthdays" birthday day they placated us with in elementary school? Why not. +
phundug, Jan 25 2007

       Alternatively, the: "I don't believe in holidays" holiday. +
xenzag, Jan 25 2007

       I celebrate Darwin Day, but I am a mere agnostic.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 25 2007

       This (like many other religion: artifact :: atheism : X inventions) is a recurring topic, not just here. See links.   

       When people quote that 4% figure, they talk about US-americans only, who are abnormally credulous; the numbers of self-identified nonbelievers in the rest of the world vary by an order of magnitude above that.
jutta, Jan 25 2007

       I don't know about you, but 100% of me is an atheist. But it's nice that about 4% of everybody else is an atheist. Anything for a start. Gradually good sense will infiltrate and capture the rest. It just takes time.
JSand, Jan 25 2007

       Personally, I take a day off on the summer solstice each year, to climb a mountain somewhere and take photos. Being a few days before Christmas, most people think I'm just starting that holiday early, until I explain the real significance of the solstice (and that Christmas is really a solstice celebration, stolen by the church to annoy the pagans of old).
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 25 2007

       [JSand] RAmen
apocalyps956, Jan 25 2007

       Literally, holiday is from "holy day". So not only are the atheists aimed to miss out on the religion-based special days, but half of the weekend time is for Sunday as a "day of rest" from religious belief (although some religions place that on Saturday, or even Friday [which then requires a re-work of the weekend schedule]).   

       Perhaps the way to treat atheists is to just schedule them for 7 days a week, then allow them ((365/7)*2)+12=(about) 116 "I don't want to work" days during the year.
lurch, Jan 25 2007

       [Lurch] Where did you get 116. Thats about 1/pi of each day.
apocalyps956, Jan 25 2007

       [neutrinos_shadow] 186 days is more than a few. Perhaps you meant Winter Solstice?
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 25 2007

       Can't use April 1st [jutta], I've already got plans. I'd tell you but it's a surprise.   

       \\Gradually good sense will infiltrate and capture the rest.\\ This kind of attitude is the reason why I prefer to have the God discussions with theists. At least they just tell me I'm damned. Atheists will tell you you're an idiot for not agreeing with them.   

       P.S., no offence [apcoaplypso], but referencing the flying spaghetti monster every time that atheism comes into a conversation really isn't funny any more. Everybody knows and gets (or gets angry at) the joke. Now it just seems like a bunch of smarter-than-thou people slapping each other on the back for being 'sooo ironic' and using someone else's joke.
hidden truths, Jan 25 2007

       Suggested name: "No saint's day"
phundug, Jan 25 2007

       I think that [NotTheSharpestSpoon] should be allowed a few extra birthdays, given that his family now has three on the same day.
wagster, Jan 25 2007

       Obviously the request that good sense should be used is insulting to some. Sorry about that but I thought it might be helpful.
JSand, Jan 25 2007

       //186 days...//
Wrong Hemisphere, [Galbinus_Caeli], although it was specifically the winter solstice celebration that was ousted (that was in the North).
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 25 2007

       I'm a bit of an atheist myself - although I am seriously considering following Ian as being the new sarcastic messiah.   

       I think that, relative to the rest of the world, the few ounces of brain contained in my skull probably don't amount to much. The chances of those few square centimetres of frogspawn grey matter actually saying something meaningful about the world outside it are fairly slim.   

       I like to think that, for atheists, every day is a holy day. Filled with awe and wonder and an appreciation that forces bigger than ourselves are at work. I'll be an atheist until I find a minor deity (perhaps in the Greek canon) who is lord of the shrug. A theistic "I dunno" holiday is probably too much to ask for.   

       Shrug Tuesday. Or even an "I respect your opinions and like pancakes anyway" Friday. I'm not fussy.
lostdog, Jan 25 2007

       Although some derive "holiday" from "holy day" the universal subconscious human fear of the dark and worship of light producing devices such as stars, the Sun and Moon, TV, etc. indicates the word derives from "wholly day" and points to the summer or winter solstice (depending upon which Earth pole you choose) is the most revered time. From this deduction the Eskimos are the chosen people and the white polar bear is the most revered animal. The coming extinction of the polar bear indicates, therefore, the apocalypse and the final appearance of God on Earth in the form of a glowing white seal if it happens at the North Pole or a glowing white penguin at the South Pole.
JSand, Jan 26 2007

       i've always felt that "holidays" are just the modern version of a tribal bonding-ritual. of what? well, the fact that we all "think alike", and can pat each other on the back and nod in agreement. isn't that what any ceremonious event is about?   

       we are the way we are because that's the way we were (translation: the memes and genes that allowed our ancestors to survive are still with us).   

       worship of a god(s) has served its purpose - we made it. time to move on to greater things like actually trying to learn more about the world around us, but i think we'll be stuck until we can engineer the god/nutter gene out of 96% of u.s.-americans.   

       maybe atheists can have a holiday to remember/ponder how religion got them to where they are, and the irony of it all.   

       time for some unholy bread +
TIB, Jan 26 2007

       To celebrate. or to not celebrate, is a conscious decision, where you purposely decide to celebrate a decision one way or another.   

       If you are consciously making a decision, or not, you have just placed your vote. You have either h[dase d fp
blissmiss, Jan 26 2007

       whoops! [blissy], are you ok?   

       [lostdog]. Lord of the Shrug. No need to wait for any minor Greek deity, I think your resume fills nicely. Particularly the association with the image of a guide dog with no one to guide...   

       I dunno. (It's like saying "amen", but without the conviction.)   

       [apocalyps956] -//where did you get 116// that's just weekends plus an extra day per month, without requiring that you possess or are possessed by any particular belief system. I neglected to add "I would love to come to work today, but am busy ( barfing / pooping / spewing harmful bacteria ) and feel it would not be a pleasant or productive application of resources" days; they are already available to all regardless of religiosity. (Remember, though, that the theists have an absolute lock on the "hey, bossman, go to hell!" days. It just doesn't come through for the atheists.)
lurch, Jan 26 2007

       I think [lostdog]'s on to something with this...
//"I respect your opinions and like pancakes anyway" Friday.//

       Why not rename all the holidays, for instance:   

       "Can't remember the point of this one but I like rabbits and chocolate" Sunday,
"Wha? Well I suppose it's fun to dress up"-oween,
"It wasn't ACTUALLY his birthday but here's a present 'cos I loves ya" Day
"Yay! Fireworks! Light festivals are fun!" Night. etc.
theleopard, Jan 26 2007

       I'm not normally one to defend religion but looking at the list of public holidays in England & Wales (see linky), of the 8 holidays only four are overtly Christian rather than broadly religous (2 at Easter, Christmas Day & Boxing Day), three are really calendar related rather than religious (New Years Day, Spring & Summer bank holidays) , and one (May Day) seems to be an all purpose day off. So I think we are all pretty much covered on the holiday front.

I wouldn't object to a few more though. Ashurah would cover Muslims and Jews, Diwali for the Hindus & Seikhs, Buddha's Birthday for the Buddhists, Greenery Day for the Shintos, Jamshed-e Navroz for the Zoroastrians and Monday mornings for the idle.
DrBob, Jan 26 2007

       Yes, I also notice that there are no specifically Agnostic holidays. How about something for this section of the population?
zen_tom, Jan 26 2007

       I thought that everyone being allowed to partake of these holidays was implemented purely for the benefit of Agnostics as a way of helping them to make up their mind which religion, if any, they wanted to believe in.
DrBob, Jan 26 2007

       [DrBob], do the idle worship false idols?
theleopard, Jan 26 2007

       //(May Day) seems to be an all purpose day of//   

       Mayday is of Pagan origin.   

       Witsun bank holiday is also religious I beleive. I'm not sure of the others though.   

       And whilst on the subject, what about the celebrations of things that perhaps we should not be *quite* so proud of like VE and VJ day. I know it was a victory for freedom (so we were told) and I know it was important but in my opinion war should never be celebrated whether we won and whether it was a just cause or not. lots of people died on both sides. Thats not something to be happy about. The US plunged us head-long into the age of nuclear weapons, thats not something to be proud of either. Why celebrate death and destruction?
webfishrune, Jan 26 2007

       [bigsleep] Most of us just phone in sick if we feel like this. There is even a national phone in sick day here in the UK.
webfishrune, Jan 26 2007

       [webfishrune] Spring bank holiday replaced the Whitsun holiday a few years back. Whitsun was calculated from Easter and was therefore rather moveable. Now they've got it nailed down.   

       As someone who works in an organization that gives us the Eids which get earlier all the time which is ok but not much fun at the moment (but not Boxing day), I would certainly prefer a "here's ten more days holiday; use it when you like but everyday is a working day" approach.   

       For committed atheists, we could celebrate Dawkins Day. I like the Brian-like irony. Though 26th March doesn't bode well for picnics and barbies in the northern part of the world.
Gordon Comstock, Jan 26 2007

       It's still religious:   

       <quote>Pentecost or Whitsun is observed on the seventh Sunday after Easter. The word Pentecost has its roots in the Greek "pentekoste" meaning the fiftieth day after Easter. Whit Sunday commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit in the form of flames to the Apostles, as recorded in the New Testament. The recent adoption of a Late Spring Bank Holiday on the last Monday in May is an attempt to deal with the fact that Whitsuntide is a moveable feast dependent on the date of Easter. Although it is no longer necessarily at the church's Whitsuntide, the general public still refers to this holiday as "Whit Monday." </quote>
webfishrune, Jan 26 2007

       I've been giving this some thought, and I really think it's a pointless idea. The idea behind holidays was originally to give religious celebration and the thanking of God (the birth of Christ, his death and resurrection etc.). Atheists have no such reason to celebrate. And if you just see a holiday as a day off, then the fact that it coincides with a religious date is merely incidental.
hidden truths, Jan 26 2007

       I meant by a person contemplating to have a holiday or not, that action in and of itself has already set that day apart. To me it has, atleast. Hence making it different from other days and making it a day of distinction. Not all holidays are happy ones. And mostly they are stupid.
blissmiss, Jan 26 2007

       Hey - everyday's a Halfbakery day. Whenever I'm (fairly) sure no-one else can see my monitor at work, I grab a quick HB fix. That's a wee holiday in itself. It may only last for a couple of minutes at a time, but I'm sure those minutes must mount up over the weeks...   

       I'm proud to celebrate HB day through a number of small installments spread throughout the year. I take my holidays in small doses, but in good company.
lostdog, Jan 26 2007

       My company sucks, cheap bastards.
blissmiss, Jan 26 2007

       What's the point of celebrating the non-existence of something?   

       I would rather celebrate Purple Kanga and Turtle day. At least they're real.
nomocrow, Jan 26 2007

       Good God above, I KNEW IT! There really is a Santa! YYYAAAAYYYY!
blissmiss, Jan 26 2007

       Since most major holidays observe death (Easter is ambiguous) how about a holiday celebrating life? "LifeDay"
molecat, Jan 27 2007

       The pro-choicers would be all over that one molecat.
Mr Buttersworth, Jan 27 2007

       Careful there! Santa is a mere misspelling of Satan.
JSand, Jan 27 2007

       Check out a new HB idea for Pro-Life, the "Armed Fetus."
molecat, Jan 27 2007

       //do the idle worship false idols?//

Dunno. I could never be bothered to find out.

I disagree somewhat with Mr Comstock about just having extra holiday allowance and use it when you will. I think it's good that everyone is forced to stop working for a few days a year.

//the general public still refers to this holiday as "Whit Monday.//

Not 'round here they don't!
DrBob, Jan 28 2007

       An atheism-themed extra public holiday seems like a fair idea to me. It's fitting that companies and organisations should close for the day; that way, they won't make more prophets.
imaginality, Jan 28 2007

       If Atheists do not hold anything as *holy*, then they should just play hookey.
xandram, Jan 28 2007

       Isn't this baked in the form of May Day (very big in the Soviet Union, as I recall)?
pertinax, Jan 29 2007

       I'd like to see an aesthetic holiday, where everyone takes the day off and goes around making things look nice.
zen_tom, Jan 29 2007

       Isn't that Arbor Day?
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 29 2007

       Even though holiday means "holy day", which would seem a complete contradiction of the idea of atheism, the idea is baked baked baked baked baked.   

       Many holidays aren't considered too religious in nature anymore, due to the rise of "political correctness". For example:   

       Easter (once the festival of Ishtar, then adapted by the Christians and finally transmogrified down to nothing but chocolates and a magical egg laying bunny)   

       Halloween (nee All Hallow's Eve)   

       Heck, even Christmas has been homogenized and commercialized.   

       And of course there remain those "holidays" that were never religious in nature to begin with ie. New Years Day/Eve, Veterans day (and other national days), etc.
Spacecoyote, Nov 20 2007

       Just remember, everyone is born a non-believer. It takes years to turn them into theists.
simonj, Nov 20 2007

       Oh, I might as well jump in. Atheist holidays should be banned, because they cater to a single non-believing religion, and aren't good for anyone.   

       Most people believe in something vaguely defined; so why not a holiday that is just a holiday? And based not on any religious belief at all?   

       Not Capitalist Power Holidays, such as they have in England. They have Bank Holiday, Bank Holiday, Bank Holiday, Bank Holiday, Bank Holiday and Bank Holiday. I asked my British friend what Bank Holiday we were celibrating, and he said, 'Dunno, Bank Holiday. They always have it this time of year'   

       And, [jutta], most Europeans have replaced religion with state; not that this is anything new. It's a very slow evolution. Now state has shrugged off the last remains of religion (Sweden for instance, only a few years ago relinquished a state religion), the state is the new receptical for belief (especially in Sweden -- when you find yourself with a group of swedes singing socialist songs on Easter you'll understand).   

       Americans? Americans and other new worlder's (including New Zealand, which is currently the most overtly Christian, if Britishly humble, place I have lived in) still have a mindset of idealism.   

       This idealism also runs strong along every train route in Europe, and every major train station, where you will find strong believers of Islam building the new religious structure of Europe.   

       In 20 years, America will be Athiest, but Europe will be Islamic.   


       So anyways, I would like to suggest a general Tequila, Qat and Political-Religious Talk day. Those who don't drink alcohol chew qat leaves. Those who do, drink tequila. Those who drink but don't drink tequila are the exception and can be ignored. Everyone argues and feels like they are right. It would be very satisfying.
mylodon, Nov 20 2007

       //a single non-believing religion// Errr, I think you miss the point here. Bless.   

       I don't believe in UFOs either - does that mean I'm a member of two religions?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 21 2007

       The tequila already made my post extra-ordinarily clear, but maybe I can clarify still further.   

       If the 4% of people being atheists are supposed to be equivalent to 4% of people being a (an arbitrarily chosen) group of ordinarily religious folks, regarding holiday worth as measured by belief system, then 'single non-believing religion' is a nearly useable term for atheist. Some atheists, use the word atheist, and gather together in atheist groups, to espouse atheism. While atheism I am sure is as slippery a label as satanism (since no doubt there are many satanists who do not allow the existence of satan, while there are many atheists who would allow the existence of god), I am happily gathering all atheist viewpoints, and wrapping them clumsily together, best I can, in a bundle I call 'single non-believing religion' although realistically the religious aspects, in terms of traditional hooting and hollering, of atheism, are sparse.   

       Also, I'm using non-believing in an a-theis-tic sense using the current context... i.e. regarding religious gods and not UFO's. So if you are an atheist, and you disbelieve in ufos, the single-ness applies to the atheistic belief systems, combined as previously stated, together for this argument, while, the UFO's you disbelieve in, are your own problem.   

       And to re-state and re-sum my previous post in freshly minced words, two wrongs don't make a right, and to truly counter religious organized philosophy it is best to disband the thought that you should have (inferred) religiously-styled organized anti-religion holiday, and instead have a new holiday with no mention of gods or religion whatsoever.   

       But basically I can't imagine what an atheistic holiday would be like, if people were not to discuss gods nor religion. Methods of toe-nail clipping? How to bag grass? What knife should one use to cut cheese?   

       Or would it be the type of holiday that is just about toppling theistic belief systems? But wouldn't that be anti-theistic? Isn't it possible to be an atheist, and yet enjoy theistic religions?   

       So again I claim an atheist holiday is a bad idea, if it has any mention of god or religion, and atheism, the name, contains that inherently, so that it should be about something non-theistic in all senses, including negative theistic senses.   

       [edit] spelling fixes for the spelling offended
mylodon, Nov 25 2007

       How about "Outdoor Reading Day" celebrating the creation of the printing press, which I believe was the start of the end of religion and certainly the greatest boon to science of all time, though cheap paper is close. The Outdoor part is to let people look at the REAL world around them and to so how feeble most miracles are compared to reality. While there is no chance that any holiday will not be bent to the purposes of religion (Christianity stole all of theirs as previous subs have stated), but on that day maybe you could ask everyone to go outside find a nice shade tree and to read something they have never read before. Even if that means a different part of the Bible/Koran/etc. That is what showed me that I was an atheist. I didn't even get out of Genesis before I realized that anyone who rewards lying for ill gotten gain (Abram & Serai) and daughters who get their father drunk to have incestuous children from him (Lot's daughters) can not be smart enough to have created a Universe.
MisterQED, Nov 25 2007

       Mylodon, how ever did you manage to write "athiest" and "athiesm" seventeen times over, and then manage to spell "theistic" correctly right at the end?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 25 2007

       I would have had an easier time if atheism was spelled catheism or at least athceism, goddamnit.
mylodon, Nov 26 2007


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