National Freethought Day:
Celebrated on 12th October, National Freethought Day is celebrated to encourage free-thinking and rational thoughts based on science and logic.
|2023||12th October||Thursday||United States|
|2024||12th October||Saturday||United States|
|2025||12th October||Sunday||United States|
Related: Other National Days Celebrated on October 12th:
Why National Freethought Day is celebrated?
Our history tells us that those who did not follow the routes created by our elders but created their paths by independent thinking. These people were met with heavy criticism and were even killed just because they didn’t think like us. While somebody’s different opinion doesn’t make him any less human, society still exiles him, and he’s branded a heretic and insulted by his people.
The Salem Witch Trials is one of the prime examples of people shaming those who think freely. There have been many times during the Salem Witch Trials that people were killed, hanged, etc. But it wasn’t until the 12th of October 1692 that the Witch Trials were stopped. It was realizing this that Freethought Day started getting celebrated all over the country since 1997. However, it took another four years to be famous and be celebrated all over the country for the day. The state of California has been celebrating this day since 2001.
The irony is that though it has taken so long for people to celebrate and raise awareness for something that comes under basic human rights, independent thoughts remain a questionable trait. Anyone who thinks differently than the masses is considered mad to this day, be it political, educational, scientific, etc. Our past is filled up with examples of those who tried to think uniquely or independently for the betterment of mankind but were banned from speaking. Names such as Einstein, Newton, Da Vinci, Galileo, Jesus, and many more believed indifferently and were insulted and even killed by people with authority just because they disagreed with their thoughts.
How can we celebrate National Freethought Day?
- Think freely: You can celebrate by thinking using logic, reason, and rationality. However, it isn’t just for you but let also live their life as they want.
- Sacramento Freethought event: Every year since 2002, a free event is held to celebrate National Freethought Day. Open to the public and held outdoors, it is called a “festival of reason.” The annual event has live shows and speakers similar to a rally and is funded through a dinner or reception. Though celebrated since 2002, it wasn’t until 2016 that the event was renamed “California Freethought Day.” Celebrated to support people with different thoughts, the event is mostly visited by atheists with the belief that all are the same regardless of whether you believe in god or not.
- Raise Awareness: You can also celebrate it by raising awareness of the importance of free-thinking. You can talk about how having free thoughts can lead to progress without hamper. Use hashtags such as #freethoughtday or #Nationalfreethoughtday, or #freethinking on your social media handles to start a campaign so that more and more people can join the cause.
Interesting facts about Freethought Day:
- The National Freethought day is celebrated every year with banned book displays, live shows, entertainment shows, movie screenings, etc.
- Although Free thoughts include atheists and agnostics especially celebrate everybody but the Californian festival.
- The garden flower pansy served as the sign of Free thought and was first used by the American Secular Union in the late 1800s.
- Do not confuse the National FreeThought Day with National Freethinkers Day.
- The National Freethought Day date was chosen to be 12th October because of its importance in Salem Witch Trials.
History of National Freethought Day:
The day that National Freethought Day is celebrated was chosen because of its relationship to Salem Witch Trials. On the 12th of October 1692, William Phips, the then governor of colonial Massachusetts, wrote a letter to England complaining about how the Salem Witch Trials have become muddied and are based on spectral evidence. He said that the entire evidence was based on somebody’s believes and dreams. In the Salem Witch Trials, most evidence was based on evidence provided by people who said that they have seen the accused consorting with devils while the devils weren’t present at the spot. However, with the mass uprising and agitation, William Phips stopped the Salem Witch Trials. Although the Witch Trials were continued later on however the spectral evidence was allowed but was conditional and mostly ignored.
Therefore, ever since 1997, the celebrations for Freethought have started by organizations such as Freethought Society, American Humanist Association, and Secular Coalition For America. Many more, the day was chosen because of what it meant to mankind.