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Humanist Day

January 1, 2010

Why not make new years eve a global day of celebration? Religious faiths have their own day of glory. It would be good if there could be a day where the whole world comes together to celebrate life. The foundations are already there and it has many advantageouses over christmas.

Firstly there is not the massive social pressure to consume. Modern Christmas has, to a large extent, been hijacked by commercial interests so that we are ‘forced’ to buy stuff far inexcess of our actual wants and often of our desires as well. We buy too many presents for our kids, drink more than is good for us and purchase food (a lot of which is wasted) that could feed a small African country. The mere fact that retailers years are made or broken on the back of this Xmas spending binge just shows how far wrong it has gone.

Likewise with family gatherings. The time around Xmas has the highest rate of domestic violence and other family breakdowns, driven mainly by the pressure to ‘be with the one’s you love’, which often ends up being an oxymoron. It is in a lot of families not a time of happiness but a time of massive stress.

So my suggestion is this. Let’s return Xmas to it’s rightful owners, the religious Christians, as a religious festival and forget about all it as a family celebration. Once we have done that we can have a truely global celebration of life and humanity on new years eve.

NYE has many in-built advantages for a day of celebration. Firstly it is global in nature, with all people around the world celebrating in their own ways. Secondly there is not the consumerist binge that christmas entails. True, there is often a lot of alcohol consumed, but this is comparable to Christmas celebrations. Finally, there is not the massive social pressure to spend time with family; you can in fact spend it how and with you wish. From a small intimate gathering of friends through to joining one of the huge street parties that occur all over the world. The good nature of these events, family friendly atmosphere and lack of violence despite the amount of alcohol consumed makes it a perfect event to celebrate humanity.

So it is time to make NYE a celebration of not just the beginning of a new year but of humanity as a whole.

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