Humanist & Non Religious Beliefs Humanists are atheists or agnostics who try to live good lives based on reason, experience and shared human values. Humanists and the non religious can feel that there is growing criticism of the non religious as people with no values system or with little to offer society. Lack of understanding and tension between the religious and non – religious can be as damaging as lack of understanding between religions.

Local authorities also need to bear in mind that a significant proportion of the population may have humanist or non religious beliefs and their views should also be taken into account when addressing community cohesion, service delivery and employment.


January 1, New Year’s Day is a holiday in many countries. It follows the celebration of New Year’s Eve in which the old year is seen out and the New Year in. Humanists value the freedom to choose when to celebrate and what to celebrate. Humanists are atheists or agnostics who try to live good lives based on reason, experience and shared human values.
Humanists appreciate the difference between the natural rhythms of the lunar and solar cycles and the various invented calendars devised to help regulate and co-ordinate human activities.
1 February Imbolc / Oimelc / Brigid (Northern Hemisphere)
1 February Lunasa or Lammas Pagan (Southern Hemisphere)
2 February Candlemas
Imbolc Also called: Candlemas, Oimelc, Brigid's Day; merged with Lupercalia / Valentines,
Customs: lighting candles, seeking omens of Spring, cleaning house, welcoming Brigid Imbolc, also known as Candlemas and Groundhog's Day, occurs at the beginning of February. It marks the middle of Winter and holds the promise of Spring. The Goddess manifests as the Maiden and Brigid. The Groundhog is a manifestation of the God. It is a festival of spiritual purification and dedication.
12 February, Darwin Day. In 2009 it will be 200 years since the birth of Charles Darwin. It will also be the 150th Anniversary of the publication of his famous book, On The Origin of Species. Internationally many Humanists and others celebrate the birthday of Charles Darwin and in so doing mark the enormous benefit that scientific knowledge has contributed in general to the advancement of humanity.

21 March Mabon/Alban Elued-Autumnal Equinox (S. Hemisphere)
21 March Ostara/ Alban Eiler- Spring Equinox (N. Hemisphere)
Rituals: breakthrough, new growth, new projects, seed blessings Customs: wearing green, egg games, new clothes, egg baskets Spring Equinox, occurs in the middle of March (tropical). It marks the beginning of Spring and the time when days and nights are of equal length.

The Goddess manifests as Ostara or Eostre with her basket of eggs. She is accompanied by the Hare or Rabbit, a manifestation of the God. This is a festival of new growth. Easter is thought to come from the pagan Anglo-Saxon Goddess of the Dawn ?aster, ?astre, and ?ostre in various dialects of Old English.

1 April, April Fools’ Day. Humanists value the freedom to choose whether to participate or not. Most humanists appreciate humour and recognise the absurd as part of the human condition.
Easter Bank Holidays. Popular celebrations of life and birth go back many thousands of years.
Just like everyone else humanists welcome the return of the warmth and vitality of spring. As with archaeology so with festivals it is often the case that beneath the present construction there are foundations of previous ones.
30 April Beltane (Northern Hemisphere)
30 April Samhain (Southern Hemisphere) Samhain, popularly known as Halloween, occurs in late October and early November.

For most Wiccan practitioners, this is the New Year, and a time for letting go of the old and looking ahead to the new. It marks the end of the harvest season. Since ancient times, Pagans have paid their respects to departed loved ones, ancestors, and guides in the Spirit World at Samhain. The Goddess manifests as the Crone and the God as the Horned Hunter and Lord of Death.

1st May

In many countries 1st May is celebrated as International Workers' Day Traditional May Day celebrations have their origins in the Roman festival of Flora, goddess of fruit and flowers, which marked the beginning of summer.
Humanists and others can if they wish participate in such May Day events as Maypole dancing or crowning of the May Queen, or they can go along to one of the many temporary fun fairs and circuses.
1 May Beltane (Northern Hemisphere)
1 May Samhain (Southern Hemisphere)
Beltane Also called: May Eve, May Day, Walspurgis Night Early May
Rituals: love, romance, fertility, crop blessings, creativity endeavors
Customs: dancing Maypole, jumping fire, mating, flower baskets

June 5. World Environment Day. This was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.
Most humanists support the ideals and work of United Nations. Julian Huxley, a humanist, was the first Director of UNESCO. George Brock Chisholm, a humanist, was the first director general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and John Boyd Orr, a humanist, was the first Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

21 June Litha/Alban Heruin - Summer Solstice (N. Hemisphere)
21 June Yule/Alban Arthuan - Winter Solstice (S. Hemisphere) Summer Solstice Also called: Midsummer, Litha, St. John's Day Dates: around 21 June Rituals: community, career, relationships, Nature Spirit communion, planetary wellness
Customs: bonfires, processions, all night vigil, singing and feasting.
Summer Solstice, It is a celebration of the longest day of the year and the beginning of Summer. It has been a grand tribal gathering time since ancient times. The Goddess manifests as Mother Earth and the God as the Sun King.

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