While not the definitive Gaelic New Year, I like many others regard Samhain to be the Gaelic New Year. Thus, my year begins after my Samhain celebrations. I'm finishing my ritual and overall festivities specifically for my spiritual self tonight, but I wanted to take the time to share my yearly celebrations (mainly because I pinpointed what they would be a few weeks ago.) Like my beliefs, these may change over the years. But as of this moment, here's my holiday calendar.
The Holy Festivals are as follows:
- Samhain, around November 1st.
- Midwinter, the Winter Solstice.
- Imbolc, around February 1st.
- Beltain, around May 1st.
- Midsummer, the Summer Solstice.
- and Lughnasa, around August 1st.
A difficult aspect of this arrangement is fitting in Midwinter. Traditionally, there doesn't seem to be a Gaelic festival for Midwinter. And unlike Midsummer, which was celebrated in Isle of Mann and parts of Ireland, there isn't really any specific traditions. But that "time of year" is important to me as someone who was raised Christian, and I can't let it go so easily. I plan to create my own version of a Midwinter celebration, which will be small and a lesser festival. But I know I want to celebrate it.
Now we have my Secular Days, which is a longer list:
- November 18th - Occult Day
- December 10th - Human Rights Day (December being Human Rights Month)
- January 20th - International Day Of Acceptance (link)
- January 21st - National Hugging Day
- January 29th - National Puzzle Day
- February 26th - Tell a Fairy Tale Day
- March 2nd - Old Stuff Day (Look through old pictures, notes, etc)
- March 8th - Women’s Day (link)
- March 10th - Day of Awesomeness
- March 14th - Pi Day
- April 10th - National Sibling Day
- April 23rd - Shakespeare Day (or Talk Like Shakespeare Day)
- May 4th - Free Comic Book Day
- May 25th - Towel Day (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
- June 8th - Ocean Day (link)
- 1st Saturday in July - Hop a Park Day! (Visit local parks)
- July 13th - Embrace Your Geekness Day
- 1st Sunday in August - Friendship Day
- September 8th - International Literacy Day
- September 12th - Video Games Day
- October 6th - Mad Hatter Day (Wonderland Day)
- October 28th - Plush Animal Lover’s Day
Everything listed has a reason. And since they're secular, I may not celebrate it beyond just posting a, "Happy ___ Day!" Or with Pi Day, I may get a pie to celebrate. With Occult Day, I may get a reading done by my favorite reader. On Puzzle Day, I will probably try to complete a puzzle (or replay Portal 1/2!) On Mad Hatter Day, I might reread the Wonderland books. I don't know yet! Unlike Pi Day, I don't have yet a set tradition. But I plan to figure it out as each day comes and goes. I might eventually kick out some days, but as of now, I plan to at least observe each one.
Not yet put on either list is Passover Seder. I'm not Jewish or from a Jewish family, but my boyfriend is. We celebrated Passover Seder last year with his family and I enjoyed it immensely, as did he. I also know it's his favorite holiday. I am fairly sure we are going to celebrate Hanukkah (at least the first night) at his parents' house too. However, I don't know how much of his Jewish heritage and traditions he wants to bring into our lives. If/when we get married, I will add whatever traditions he has kept onto my list--since I hope someday to pass this down to my children, and they to their children, and so forth.
That concludes my Holy Festivals and Secular Days. I don't have a precise question, but I do implore for people to share with me their traditions and special days as they see fit. Has anyone else incorporated secular days like Pi Day into an annual tradition?