[UPDATED JANUARY 2021]
Who doesn’t love holidays? “Real” ones give us the perfect time to not work without playing hooky. But who wants to stick to Hallmark holidays when there are many landmark days that geeks can celebrate in our own special way? Especially with what we’ve had to endure in 2020 – and we don’t know what 2021 brings – holding our own festivities is one way to keep sane.
Some geek holidays such as May the 4th are known by everyone, but there are many other (perhaps more obscure) days that need highlighting in my opinion. If you want to be in the know, here is a geek holiday calendar for your reference.
Mark your calendars, boys and girls, and plan your celebrations well ahead of time.
Geek Holiday Calendar
National Science Fiction Day – January 2: Also Isaac Asimov’s birthday
50th Anniversary of Batman’s premiere on ABC – January 12: Not exactly a holiday, but certainly an “excuse” to make the day one.
Wikipedia Day – January 15: On January 15, 2001, Wikipedia went public, hence the special day.
Apple Computer Day – January 25: The very first Macintosh was introduced by Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984. The change in the commemoration date can’t be explained, however. Still, if you’re an Apple fanboy/fangirl, this is the day to look forward to.
Winter-een-mas – January 26-31: This week-long holiday is for gamers. The holiday is attributed to the author/illustrator of the webcomic Ctrl+Alt+Del, Tim Buckley. Learn more about how to celebrate here.
Data Privacy Day – January 28: Known in Europe as Data Protection Day. Observed in North America, India, and 47 European countries, the holiday is meant to raise awareness and promote privacy. Obviously, it has become more and more relevant as the years pass.
e Day – February 7: If Euler is the first thing to come to mind upon seeing “e”, then you’ve got geek cred. What exactly is “e”, though? Aside from the string of numbers (name them?), there’s more…read about it here.
National Inventors’ Day – February 11: Also Thomas Edison’s birthday, this holiday was proclaimed by Ronald Reagan in 1983. It is worth noting that this holiday is celebrated on different days in other countries.
Darwin Day – February 12: For admirers of Charles Darwin and his work, this is the day to remember him. You can thank Dr. Robert Stephens, who motivated the Humanist Community in Silicon Valley to initiate an annual Darwin Day Celebration in 1995; Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, who similarly organized annual Darwin Day events at the University of Tennessee beginning in 1997; and Amanda Chesworth, who joined Stephens to officially incorporate the Darwin Day Program in New Mexico in 2000 for this holiday.
World Thinking Day – February 22: We’re supposed to be thinkers, questioning things. So, yes, a holiday celebrating this habit is definitely a geek holiday!
Pokemon Day – February 27: I guess this holiday was inevitable. It’s the anniversary of Pikachu and Charmander after all.
Game Master’s Appreciation Day – March 4: Show your appreciation for your Game Masters during this day. Do whatever you think will make them feel like the heroes they are.
Pi Day – March 14: One of the more popular geek holidays, Pi Day is the day when you can show off how many digits of Pi you memorize. Alternatively, bake some pie and eat it, too.
Also see: Plan A Perfect Pi Day Party!
Tolkien Reading Day – March 25: Launched in 2003, Tolkien Reading Day is the holiday to skip work and spend all day reading your favorite works of Tolkien. Better yet, spend time with your Tolkien-loving friends. If you’re up to it, organize your own event for the day.
World Backup Day – March 31: If you don’t back up your data, then if you lose it for whatever reason, you deserve it. While you should always do it, this day is a perfect time to do it. Again.
The entire month is Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month. It “marks a time to increase the understanding and appreciation of mathematics and statistics.”
Square Root Day – April 4: Square Root Day is held whenever the numbers corresponding to the month and the day are equal to the square root of the last two digits of the year. It happens only NINE times a century. Next one will be on May 5, 2025.
First Contact Day – April 5: First Contact Day “was a holiday celebrated to honor both the warp 1 flight of the Phoenix and first open contact between Humans and Vulcans on April 5, 2063 in Bozeman, Montana.” And, guess what? Children had the day off (on Earth), thanks to Captain Kathryn Janeway memories of how holiday were celebrated. So, while we’re decades away, perhaps we all should take a day off on this day.
Astro Boy’s Birthday – April 7: “Astro Boy’s creator, the late manga (cartoon) artist Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989), set the Tetsuwan Atomu series in Japan 50 years in the future. On April 7, 2003, real time caught up with the fictional birthdate Tezuka chose for his character.”
Yuri’s Night – April 12: On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin flew the Vostok 1 and we know him as the first man to launch into space. This day is also aptly called “World Space Party”.
DNA Day – April 25: This day celebrates the day in 1953 when James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin published their paper on the structure of the DNA.
Morse Code Day – April 27: This is dedicated to Samuel Morse, who was born on this day in 1791. If you don’t know Morse Code, why not make it a challenge to learn it on this day. If you do, why don’t you make up games using Morse Code with your friends?
International Tabletop Day – April 30: Thanks to Geek & Sundry, we have this special day for board and card game enthusiasts. Make game night an extra special event on this day.
Free Comic Book Day – First Saturday in May: Share and celebrate your comic book
obsession love. Check the official website and your local comic book shop for events.
Star Wars Day – May 4: Another really popular geek holiday…May the 4th be with you. Fun fact: The phrase dates back to at least 1979, on the day Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain’s first woman prime minister. Her party took out a newspaper ad in the London Evening News that said “May the Fourth be with you, Maggie. Congratulations.”
Goku Day – May 9: Dragon Ball Z fans, this is your day. In 2015, this day was officially set as Goku Day because #5 and #9 read as Go and Ku in Japanese.
International Museum Day – on or around May 18: Started in 1977, this day “a specific theme that changes every year and that is at the heart of the international museum community’s preoccupations.” Go visit a museum and interact with visitors as well as curators, who go out of their way to inform the public.
Talk Like Yoda Day – May 21: A holiday, this definitely is. Have a hard time doing it? Here’s help talking like Yoda. Seriously, though, help you shouldn’t need.
Geek Pride Day – May 25: Wear your geek loud and proud on this day. Our favorite sources for geek merch:
Towel Day – May 25: Even if you’re not going interstellar traveler, always know where your towel is. You know where this holiday comes from.
National Paper Airplane Day – May 26: Because paper airplanes are fun! Obviously, this is the day when you have all the excuse you need to make all the paper airplanes you want – and throw them at anyone.
Captain Picard Day – June 16: Do we need a reason to have this day? As far as I’m concerned, every day may very well be a Picard facepalm day. This particular day, as celebrated annually aboard the USS Enterprise-D, didn’t really make the Captain happy, but some crew members seemed to take delight in the proceedings.
Golden Ratio Day – June 18: 1.618. Phi. Guess why this day was chosen to be the holiday for the number? But nerds being nerds, there are people who argue that Phi Day should be on October 31 in the Northern Hemisphere and May 6 in the Southern Hemisphere. Wanna know why? Wrap your head around it by reading this whitepaper.
Tau Day – June 28: Pi Day may be more popular, but Tau Day is fast gaining its followers. The premise is that Pi is wrong. Feeling outraged? Read the Tau Manifesto by Michael Hartl. It might destroy all you’ve ever believed in. You’ve been warned. (But nothing’s stopping you from making/eating all the pie you want.)
World UFO Day – July 2: The truth is out there. Celebrate your belief by joining other UFO enthusiasts on this day. Learn more on what to do on this holiday here.
Pi Approximation Day – July 22: Another excuse to eat pie…July 22 = 22/7. That’s 3.142857. An approximation of Pi.
CAPS LOCK DAY – June 28: WHY YOU SHOUT AT ME? This is one day where is is excusable – even funny – to use uppercase in your emails and chats. To clarify, the first CAPS LOCK DAY was held on October 22, 2000. It was “moved” to June 28, 2009 in memory of Billy Mays, the perfect “spokesperson” for the CAPS LOCK.
System Administrator Appreciation Day – July 28 (every last Friday of July): Sys ads, this is your day. Users, be nice.
International Beer Day – August 4 (every first Friday of August): Raise your glass and make sure you have a taste of all the fine beers of the world – well, what you can find.
You’ll need to read these to plan your celebration:
IBM/PC Day – August 12: If there’s an Apple Day, then there’s a PC Day. This was when the Model5150 was introduced by IBM in 1981. Who feels like watching Halt and Catch Fire?
International Cosplay Day – Last Weekend of August: “This last weekend of August will be a day like no other. You will wake up. You will put on cosplay, and you will live without regulations. It WILL be bold.”
Google Commemoration Day – September 7: Love or hate Google, you can’t deny how many times the search engine has saved your butt. Give it some love on this day. (P.S. The domain was registered on the 4th, but it is on the 7th that celebrations are held.)
International Literacy Day – September 8: A geek is no geek if he doesn’t have a love for reading (okay, that’s arguable, but I stand by it). The UNESCO Director-General says it all: “Literacy is a foundation to build a more sustainable future for all.”
Programmer’s Day – September 13: Programmers, you are not unloved. This day is for you. Go and do something outside without your computers.
Optimus Prime Day – September 19: 1984 changed our lives forever when Transformers entered our lives. Have a marathon? Enjoy Michael Bay’s spinning shots.
World Emoji Day – September 19: This is what the world has come to – full circle. Symbols to words and back to symbols again. But, hey. They make things easier, especially for those who aren’t so good at talking. 💑
International Talk Like a Pirate Day – September 19: Talking like a pirate is fun. Period.
Software Freedom Day – September 19: Celebrate software freedom with like-minded individuals around the world. Learn how to here.
Hobbit Day – September 22: Because it’s not enough to celebrate reading Tolkien’s work, we have Hobbit Day. Dress like a hobbit. Eat like a hobbit. Remember to greet Bilbo and Frodo happy birthday.
Batman Day – September 26: Because Batman.
Ask a Stupid Question Day – September 28: Why?
Ada Lovelace Day – 2nd Tuesday of October: Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Learn more here.
Steve Jobs Day – October 16: You either love him or hate him, but you can’t deny his brilliance. He died on October 5, but Apple held a memorial for him on the 16th in Stanford.
Marty McFly Day – October 21: We all know this one. October 21, 2015 is the date Marty is supposed to “return” to the future. Lots of arguments surround this date, but the holiday is set.
Mole Day – October 23: No, it’s not about that burrowing critter. Think Avogadro’s Number – 6.02 x 10 23. Learn more here. 2021’s theme is…HaMOLEton!
TARDIS Day – November 23: “November 23rd marks the 52nd anniversary of “An Unearthly Child,” the debut episode of Doctor Who and the origin point of an ever-expanding universe.” Read more here. Who’s your first Doctor?
Fibonacci Day – November 23: 1, 1, 2, 3…get it?
Evolution Day – November 24: The Day “On the Origin of Species” was published
Computer Security Day – November 30: No nerd doesn’t have an excellent security setup to make sure his data is kept safe. This is the day to take things to the next level and actually celebrate computer security. Or change your password. Learn more here.
Day of the Ninja – December 5: Who doesn’t want to be a ninja? This holiday may have been created in response to Talk Like a Pirate Day, but they are both cool in my book. So go out there and show off your ninja skills before the Christmas frenzy starts.
International Shareware Day – December 11: For all the big-hearted developers and programmers out there. We love you.
This post was originally written by erstwhile ForeverGeek writer Robin Parrish.