Most of us know about the major religious holidays and the public holidays where we live, as well as awareness days for serious illnesses and charitable causes, but there are other fun or quirky special days all year round that you might not have heard of. Here are some of those days that are coming up in September;
International Talk Like a Pirate Day- September 19
Capt'n Slappy and O'l Chumbucket, the founders of Talk Like a Pirate Day, via Wikipedia, Fair use.
Founded in 1995 by John Bauer (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy) of Albany, Oregan, Talk Like a Pirate Day is now celebrated all over the world. It's a day when people of all walks of life indulge in talking "like a pirate" - not like the real pirates that actually still exist and kill people, but in romanticised tales of the Golden Age of Piracy. Think Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, The Pirates of Penzance, or Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean.
You can celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day simply by talking like a pirate, whether at home, work, school, the local shops or anywhere. For tips on how to talk like a pirate, see the founders' video.
Hobbit Day- September 22
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey. Fair Use.
Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week were established by the American Tolkien Society in 1975. September 22nd is the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two famous hobbits from Tolkien's novels The Hobbit and the trilogy The Lord of the Rings. You could celebrate Hobbit day by reading, or re-reading one of the books, watching or re-watching the films or enjoying a hearty second breakfast and a long walk.
Hug a Vegetarian Day- September 27
A very huggable vegetarian. Image from Morguefile by user morethanordinary.
October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, but if you're really keen you can kick it off a couple of days early by hugging a vegetarian. Just be sure that the vegetarian in question is willing. Maybe you can go and enjoy a falafel together afterwards. Ask a Stupid Question Day- 28 Sept
Celebrated on either September 28th, or the last school day in September in the USA, Ask A Stupid Question Day was created in the 1980s to encourage students to ask more questions in class instead of holding back for fear of looking silly. Wherever you are in the world, why not use this day as an excuse to find out something you want to know. Have courage and learn!
Blasphemy Day- September 30
The Center for Inquiry Logo, via Wikipedia, Fair use.
Created by the secular organisation, the Center for Inquiry, Blasphemy Day is a little more serious than the other days on this list, since the date was chosen to coincide with the publication of cartoons of Muhammed in a Danish newspaper in 2005, which sparked violent protests killing over 100 people, but the day is not intended to target Islam in particular, but rather the concept of blasphemy and free speech in general. Blasphemy Day is still relevant in 2017, in light of more recent events such as the lynching in Pakistan of a student accused of posting offensive content on Facebook. Many countries still have blasphemy laws on the books, and in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Saudi Arabia it is punishable by death. Blasphemy Day is not intended to ridicule or insult anyone, but rather as a way to show opposition to laws or resolutions that discourage or inhibit freedom of speech.
If you're lucky enough to live in a country where you are free to criticise religious ideas, you could observe Blasphemy Day by reading a banned book, donating to secular organisations such as the Center for Inquiry or the Secular Party of Australia, or Progressive Atheists Inc, who work to try and abolish blasphemy laws or assist people affected by these laws, and by spreading awareness about human rights abuses like the lynching in Pakistan.