An Epicurean Year

As part of an effort to continue to produce memes and content that are relevant to the happenings at different stages of the year, Society of Epicurus is joining the initiative of the Epicurus page known as An Epicurean Year. According to its proponent, “the purpose here is to create a rotation of Doctrines, Sayings, other topics and issues to help anyone integrate Epicurean Philosophy into their lives through continuous study and practice” within the Gregorian calendar.

I have gone beyond his initial proposal and added a few celebrations. “An Epicurean year begins in February … because Epicurus’ birthday is in “Gamelion”, which corresponds (more or less) to February”.

Epicureans are known to celebrate the 20th of every month as a “feast of reason”, which is why every 20th defaults to a celebration known as eikas, or “twentieth” in honor of the request made in Epicurus’ will.

JANUARY 20th. “A Feast of Brotherhood”. In his final testament, Epicurus requested that his followers “celebrate, as I have been in the habit of doing myself, the day consecrated to my brothers, in the month of Poseideon”–whichi corresponds to December-January.

FEB 12. Charles R. Darwin birthday.

FEB 16th. Foundation of the Society of Friends of Epicurus

FEB. 20th. “A Feast for Life!”, as per initial proponent. Epicurus’ birthday.

MAR. 20th. “A Feast for Happiness!”, as the UN has declared this to be the International Day of Happiness.

MAR 21. SoFE celebrates Horace Day. The literary Legacy of Horace, a self-proclaimed “pig of Epicurus’ den”, is celebrated as part of World Poetry Day.

APR 13. Hitchens – Jefferson Day, a secular holiday proposed by a blogger based on Jefferson’s Day, where humanist books should be exchanged as gifts.

APR. 20th. “A Feast for Proper Pleasures”, as per initial proponent; perhaps because Spring, and Easter in particular, has always been associated with Venus. This usually also falls around Earth Day, so it’s a celebration of this Earth.

MAY 20th. “A Feast of the Good Desires!”, as per initial proponent.

JUNE 20th. Midsummer Feast.

JULY 20th. A Feast of Wisdom, as the Panathinaia, the Festival of Athena, the Goddess of Philosophy is celebrated in Hellenismos between July and August every year.

AUGUST 20. The ancient Athenians celebrated a festival of Panathenaea around their calendar’s version of August 13th. Since this falls closest to our 20th of August, on this 20th SoFE celebrates the literary opus of Frances Wright titled A Few Days in Athens.

AUGUST 24. HERCULANEUM DAY. On this date in the year 79 of Common Era, Mount Vesuvius erupted and the library in Herculaneum was covered in volcanic ash.

SEPTEMBER 20th. POLYAENUS DAY. In his final will and testament, Epicurus instituted the celebration of a day consecrated to the memory of Polyaenus, one of the founders of Epicureanism, “in the month of Metageitnion–which corresponds to August-September in our calendar.

OCTOBER 1. It’s difficult to find the exact date for a festival in Taoism, since the Taoist calendar is lunar. Therefore, the National Day of China may be used to celebrate Chinese philosophers who have contributed to hedonism–in particular Yang Chu.

OCTOBER 19. Philodemus’ library was discovered on this date in 1752

DEC 20th. HumanLight, the Humanist Solstice celebration which began in New Jersey among humanists and is now embraced widely by the American Humanist Association and others.

Please visit the original page for An Epicurean Year for more details on the project.