World Humanist Day

World Humanist Day is celebrated every year on 21 June and we’ve been celebrating it since the 1980s. It’s an opportunity for humanists all around the world to publicise the positive values of humanism and to share the global concerns of the humanist movement.

On 21 June, let the world know why you are a humanist!

We have created a special frame for your profile picture on Facebook, so that you can say out and loud why you are a humanist – and don’t forget to use the hashtag #WorldHumanistDay!

Share it now!

What is World Humanist Day?

Origins of World Humanist Day

World Humanist Day originated in the 1980s, when several local state chapters of the American Humanist Association (AHA) began celebrating. But at first different chapters had different ideas as to what the date should be.

Some chapters, for example, preferred the anniversary of the founding of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (Humanists International), while other chapters celebrated a Humanist Day on other dates of significance to Humanism. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, first the AHA and then Humanists International passed resolutions declaring June 21 to be World Humanist Day. In both cases, the day was declared under twin resolutions: the first to decide that there should be a World Humanist Day, the second to decide when that day should be.

Every year since then, World Humanist Day has been celebrated around the world on June 21. The grassroots origins and process of establishment mark the origins of World Humanist Day as highly democratic.

June 21 usually marks the date of the June solstice around the world (summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and winter solstice in the southern). The solstice event has echoes of ancient communal gatherings, as well as reflecting humanity’s deepening scientific understanding of our world, and being an event that, by its nature, is shared globally at the same moment in the calendar.

Ways to celebrate World Humanist Day

A simple yet meaningful way to celebrate World Humanist Day is to share the reason why you are a humanist on Facebook by using our new frame for your profile picture: try it now!

In general, World Humanist Day is a great excuse for a party. Yet it can be so much more than that.

Below are some of the many ways that World Humanist Day has been celebrated over the past two decades, and a few of the resources already available to groups. If we missed your favorite World Humanist Day event, please let us know.

  • Publicity drive. From billboards to library displays, World Humanist Day is a great hook for advertising and promoting Humanism. It’s also an opportunity to seek media coverage.
  • Conference or courses. While some Humanist groups hold conferences around June 21, others, such as the Humanists of Florida, conduct introductory courses about Humanism.
  • Lectures or discussions. Topics for discussion can range from the global, such as talks about the activities of the Humanists International, to the individual, such as open forums where people share their personal pathways to Humanism.
  • Proclamations. A public proclamation is a document, authorized and signed by an elected official, which declares the importance of a specific date or event. A proclamation recognizing World Humanist Day is a great way to raise visibility and appreciation for the Humanist community.
  • Videos. In 2009, the Dutch humanist broadcasting service, HUMAN, and the broadcaster VPRO worked together with the Humanist NGO Hivos to create five short films in which Humanism, as a practical, life-affirming philosophy takes center stage. The films were shown on Dutch national TV on Saturday, June 20th, and Sunday, June 21st in celebration of World Humanist Day.
  • Party or Picnic. Since World Humanism Day is a celebration, many groups make it by throwing a party. And since June 21 is the summer solstice for the northern hemisphere, the party is often outdoors. A picnic can include food, games, and discussion, and is also a great opportunity to include children in a Humanist meeting.
  • Ceremony. Some groups have seized on the significance of the solstice to develop celebratory rituals, including music and readings that highlight the symbolism of the solstice and the light (knowledge) which brings us out of darkness (ignorance).

Free resources on humanism

Why not join Humanists International on World Humanist Day?

A great way to celebrate World Humanist Day would be to show your support to the global humanist movement – and what better way than by becoming an Individual Supporter of Humanists International? Join our global family now!

Here is what humanism means for different humanists worldwide!

On 21 June, join Humanists International as an individual supporter!

We rely on the support of humanists like you to keep promoting humanism and defend humanists at risk all around the world. On World Humanist Day, please consider becoming one of our supporters!

Join us now!

Here are some photos of humanists celebrating World Humanist Day!

Reasons to become an individual supporter this World Humanist Day

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