Since pantheists regard creation as sacred and holy, every day is a holiday.
(from the Old English "halig daeg"= holy day)


Beyond the enjoyment and appreciation of Nature's daily miracles, Pantheists celebrate seasonal cycles and commemorate individuals who have fostered a spiritual relationship with Nature.

Add your own ideas for holidays to the suggestions listed below.  Write to government officials to obtain lists of your state and local region’s holidays. For example, in California we celebrate "California Poppy Day" on April 6. I don’t let this day pass without finding poppies to admire, tame ones in a residential yard or, preferably, wild ones in a natural area! Similarly, you can personalize any holiday. And, of course, there’s your birthday--a most special ‘holiday’ and a wonderful time for reflecting on the gift of Life.

PLEASE NOTE: This compilation has an North American outlook. For holidays around the world see the books listed below or related references available at your local library:

Mossman, Jennifer, ed. Holidays and Anniversaries of the World, Second Edition. Detroit: Gale Research, Inc., 1996.

Thompson, Sue Ellen, & Carlson, Barbara W., eds. Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary. Detroit: Omnigraphics, Inc., 1994.

 January

(After Janus, a Roman god with two faces which enabled him to look into the future and the past at the same time)

1 New Year’s Day - Festivities held throughout the world to welcome the new year

   One Day of Peace & Sharing  (www.onedayholiday.org)  A new holiday encouraging world peace

10 Robinson Jeffers Day (1887-1962) - California poet and Pantheist

11 Aldo Leopold Day (1887-1948) - Key conservationist, writer, and exponent of a "land ethic"

12 National Bird Day - To appreciate avifauna

14 Albert Schweitzer Day (1875-1965) - Humanitarian who extolled a ‘reverence for life’

29 Edward Abbey Day (1927-1989) - Writer and ardent advocate for wildness

Movable Holidays:

Third Sunday:  World Religion Day - Recognizing the variety and richness of the world’s religions


 February

(From the Latin ‘Februare’ = to purify. The Roman's had an annual purification ceremony at this time of year)

2 Ground Hog Day - Legend says that if the ground hog comes out and sees its shadow it means six more weeeks of winter

12 Charles Darwin Day (1809-1882) - Celebrated theorist of evolution

14 Valentines Day - Traditional day for lovers, comic and affectionate greeting cards and gifts

17 Giordano Bruno Remembrance Day (1548-1600) - Bruno martyred on this day in the year 1600  for expressing 'heretical' pantheistic ideas

19 Nicolaus Copernicus Day (1473-1543) - Advanced the theory that the Earth revolves around the sun, rather than the sun around the Earth

22 Native American Generosity - On this day in 1630, the Indians introduced the Pilgrims to popcorn


 March

(From the Roman god of war, Mars; the first month of the year until 46 B.C.E.)

1 First National Park - Yellowstone National Park established on this day in 1872

7 Luther Burbank Day (1849-1926) - Famous horticulturist with a deep love of Nature

14 Albert Einstein Day (1879-1955) - Renowned physicist with Pantheistic perception

21 (on or around) Vernal Equinox - The first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere

26 Joseph Campbell Day (1904-1987) - Scholar of comparative mythology and author of The Masks of God and many other works, who affirmed a Pantheistic outlook

Movable Holidays:

Easter - Springtime celebration, perhaps after ‘Eostre’ = Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility, or ‘Ostara’ = Germanic goddess who was always accompanied by a hare, ancestor of the Easter Bunny


 April

(May derive from Aphrodite, goddess of love and by projection, of Spring beauty, or perhaps from the Latin ‘Aperire’ = to open, referring to the budding of Spring blossoms)

1 April Fool’s Day - Custom of playfully fooling people are found around this time in lands as far apart as Sweden, Portugal, and India

3 John Burroughs Day (1837-1921) - Noted naturalist, writer, and Pantheist

7 William Wordsworth Day (1770-1850) - Pantheistic poet

    World Health Day - To focus on healthy living

21 John Muir Day (1838-1914) - Outstanding conservationist, naturalist and writer who pantheized Nature

22 Earth Day- First observed in 1970 in U.S., and now in many other countries, to draw attention to environmental issues

24 Universe Day - Hubble Space Telescope deployed on this day in 1990 ushering in a new era of deep space exploration

Movable Holidays:

Mid-April: National Wildlife Week

Often last Friday in April: Arbor Day - First celebrated in Nebraska, now tree-planting festivities in all 50 states and many other countries


 May

(From ‘Maia,’ a deity of Spring and fertility)

1 May Day - One of the oldest holidays celebrating the rebirth of Nature with spring time revels and Maypole merriment (in the 19th century also became a socialist labor holiday)

18 Bertrand Russell Day (1872-1970) -  Perspicacious British philosopher and activist who recognized that Nature's power and mystery compliments scientific thought

25 Ralph Waldo Emerson Day (1803-1882) - Noted Transcendentalist writer with pantheistic predilections

27 Rachel Carson Day (1907-1964) - Marine biologist, activist, and author of Silent Spring and other influential books

31 Walt Whitman Day (1819-1892) - American poet and Pantheist feted for his great work, Leaves of Grass


 June

(Perhaps from the goddess Juno, connected with weddings)

5 World Environment Day - Established in 1972 to focus on environmental concerns around the globe

8 Frank Lloyd Wright Day (1868-1959) - Noted architect who equated God and Nature, and who designed modernistic structures based on natural forms

21 (on or around) Summer Solstice - First day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest day of the year 

      World Whale Day - Celebrating the wondrous denizens of the deep


 July

(After Julius Caesar, Roman general, statesman, and historian)

1 David Brower Day (1912-2000) - Wildlands activist nonpareil

12 Henry David Thoreau Day (1817-1862) - Writer and naturalist with pantheistic thoughts


 August

(After Augustus Caesar who succeeded Julius Caesar (JULY) and desired his own name on the calendar)

11 Night of the Shooting Stars - Meteors or shooting stars are usually named after the star or constellation from which   they appear to originate; the Perseids arrive on the 8th to 11th, sometimes as many as 60 meteors an hour

26 Krakatoa Day - Anniversary of volcanic eruption in 1883 which affected the atmospheric environment for years, a reminder of Nature’s power

Womans Equality Day - Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, celebrating progress in Womans Rights over the course of history


28 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Day (1749-1832) - German writer and scientist with a profound and poetic sensibility to Nature


 September

(The word means ‘seven,’ as this was the seventh month on the ancient Roman calendar)

1 Species Requiem Day -Rembering the extinction of species by humankind; the last Passenger Pigeon died on this day in 1914 in a zoo

4 Geronimo Day (1829-1909) - Apache leader resisted attempts to consolidate his people on reservations for ten years but forced to surrender on this day in 1886

23 (on or around) Autumn Equinox - First day Fall

Movable Holidays:

3rd Sunday: World Peace Day

Last Saturday: National Public Lands Day - To recognize the value of parks, forests and other public lands


 October

(The word means ‘eight,’ as this was the eighth month on the ancient Roman Calendar)

3 National Estuaries Day - To illuminate the value and biological richness of estuaries

4 Saint Francis of Assisi Day (1182-1286) - Founder of Franciscan Order who displayed a keen appreciation of wildlife and Nature

16 William O. Douglas Day (1898-1980) - Supreme Court Justice and defender of wilderness

31 Halloween - Fun Fall celebration with pagan overtones


 November

(The word means ‘nine,’ as this was the ninth month on the ancient Roman calendar)

9 Carl Sagan Day (1934-1996) - Acclaimed astronomer and environmentalist

25 Joseph Wood Krutch Day (1810-1970) - Writer, naturalist, and Pantheist

30 John Toland Day (1670-1722) - First to employ the word ‘Pantheist’ in English, and envisioned a Pantheist Society

Movable Holiday:

Fourth Thursday: Thanksgiving - Giving thanks for Nature’s bounty


 December

(The word means ‘ten,’ as this was the tenth month on the ancient Roman calendar)

10 Human Rights Day - Marks adoption of the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" by the United Nations General Assembly on this day in 1948

21(on or around) Winter Solstice - First Day of Winter triggering many ancient and modern seasonal traditions from bonfires to gift-giving and solar rites celebrating the return of the sun and longer days

25 Christmas - Christian overlay of pagan Winter Solstice sun-worshipping festivals

31 New Year’s Eve - Time for revelry and reflection


 

It's interesting  to observe your local Sunrises and Sunsets, as well as the Clouds and Weather (a meteorology guidebook describes the varying kinds of clouds)... rediscover the restful joy of cloud-watching!

It's also fun to keep track of Moon Phases plus Stars and Planets (consult an astronomy guidebook)...the night sky brings boundless inspiration!



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Photo courtesy Brother Alfred Brousseau

Copyright © 1998 - 2010 Gary Suttle