The holiday season has just ended, and you deserve a break from all the holiday nonsense, and enjoy the relaxation of being able to get back to work without the incessant pressure to be merry and bright.
When the daily grind gets you down again, though, consider that a few good progressive holidays are near at hand. There’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, of course. Then, at the beginning of February, there’s Groundhog’s Day, which in my mind is one of the most undervalued holidays year round, giving people suffering under the grey skies and snowdrifts of wintera reminder that spring will soon be at hand.
One other progressive holiday quickly following Groundhog’s Day is gaining more attention with every passing year. Darwin Day. On February 12, people around the world will gather to celebrate the birthday of Charles Darwin, the author of The Origin of Species who, along with Alfred Russel Wallace, came up with the innovating idea that natural selection is a primary force behind biological evolution.
Darwin Day is a holiday that celebrates the values of science, education, progress, and freedom from censorship by orthodox religious powers. As Americans have seen over the last year, these values are still very much in dispute, with right wing religious groups still trying to eradicate critical thinking, science, and the teaching of evolution – to replace them with Creationism and the theology known as Intelligent Design. Darwin Day gives those of us who value free thought to stand up to the zealots who would force us to comply with their narrow view of the world.
Visit the web site of the Darwin Day Celebration organization to see where Darwin Day is being celebrated near you, or to plan and register your own Darwin Day event. For more information about and resources for this secular holiday, you can also visit our own Irregular Times Darwin Day resource page.