Top 7 Geek Holidays You Should be Celebrating

By: Laurie-Anne Vazquez 01/22/2015 4:29PM
Category: Pop Culture

Major holidays like Valentine’s Day and Earth Day get the lion’s share of media coverage, Hallmark cards, and themed teddy bears, but they’re far from the only ones with dedicated followings. The geeks have inherited the Earth – and they’ve brought a slew of much more interesting holidays with them (as well as ways of celebrating them). Get in on the fun by celebrating the 7 most popular geek holidays of 2015:

Pi Day – March 14

March 14 is an annual celebration of the world’s most famous irrational number, thanks to its numerical date of 3.14. This year happens to be extra special because the date – 3.14.15 – is correct to an extra 2 digits. There’s a Pi Day website devoted to the holiday (and is has t-shirts! And pi pans!) as well as a Facebook group where fans share their favorite ways to celebrate, including sharing their favorite spotting of the number in popular culture and even creating music videos. Fun fact: Pi Day is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.

Star Wars Day (Aka May The Fourth Be With You!) – May 4

Switch “fourth” with “force” and you’ve got the jist of Star Wars Day. First celebrated in 1979, Star Wars Day has evolved in to a worldwide celebration of all the best parts of Star Wars. Especially Jedi. While die-hard fans tend to treat every day like Star Wars Day, there are events all over the world on May 4. Fans celebrate by dressing as their favorite characters and going to local festivals screening the films and holding contests. Evenastronauts get in on the proceedingsFacebook and Twitter are the best places to connect with local events near you. Fun fact: May the Fourth has become so popular that the following day has become its own unofficial holiday – Revenge of the Fifth – devoted to all things Sith. Especially Darth Vader.

Geek Pride Day – May 25

The king of geek holidays, Geek Pride Day began in 2006 to commemorate the release of the first Star Wars film and evolved into a worldwide celebration of geek culture. Geek Pride Day also happens to fall on the same day as Towel Day and the Glorious 25th of May, roping in the respective fanbases of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. That’s a whole lot of pride packed into one day – and there are lots of different ways to celebrate (and rules to follow)! You can go to one of11 different fan conventions, brandish your sonic screwdriver, deck out your home with geeky stuff (on sale! Because ThinkGeek loves you!), or live tweet Star Wars while bakingYoda cookies. You can even learn a new programming language, if that’s how your geek flag flies. Towel Day fans keep a towel with them at all times, while Pratchett’s fans honor him by wearing lilac and raising awareness and money for Alzheimer’s research following the author’s 2007 diagnosis (find places to donate here).

Marty McFly Day – October 21

When Marty McFly climbs into the DeLorean in Back to the Future, several dates are listed on the dashboard. One of them is October 21, 2015, and it’s the day Marty McFly is set to “return” to the future. It’s a bit of a controversy due to false dates circulating online, but 2015 is the actual date in the film. Watching the trilogy is the best way to celebrate, but you can also go back in time on Google Maps to find Doc Brown, participate in your own time traveling prank, or purchase these self-lacing Nike sneakers. Fun fact: today is also Alfred Nobel’s birthday.

Google Commemoration Day – September 7

Google was created on September 7, 1996, so that’s the day its fans choose to show their appreciation. Granted that celebration amounts to conducting lots of Google searches and scrolling through their favorite doodles, but still: Google does get in on the fun with a special doodle. Google’s birthday is an unofficial geek holiday, and while there isn’t an official community fans everywhere get in on the fun by sharing how their lives could never be the same without it. Fun fact: Google shares the calendar with Labor Day this year.

Apple Computer Day – January 25

Steve Jobs introduced the very first Macintosh computer January 24, 1984. Due to the brand’s enduring popularity and devoted fanbase, it has its very own holiday… though why it turned into January 25 is anyone’s guess. Again, there’s no official community, but if you needed a specific date on your calendar to hug your iPhone, practice your Steve Jobs, and stand in line outside an Apple Store, this is it. Alternatively, you could also visit its new spaceship headquarters, or play Apple II games to honor the company’s very first computer.

Talk Like A Pirate Day – September 19

Ayyy, matey! September 19 began as a made-up holiday between two friends and has become an international sensation, thanks to social media and Dave Barry. A celebration of all the most fun aspects of pirating, Talk Like a Pirate Day has its own online headquarters(complete with a frequently updated Google Map), Facebook community, and has become enough of a media draw to include fundraisers for social justice causes. You can play free mini golf, watch your favorite pirate movie, or even eat a free Krispy Kreme. However you celebrate, be sure to embrace the spirit of the day – or walk the plank.

Honorable Mentions And Famous Birthdays

Isaac Asimov’s Birthday – January 2

The father of science fiction (and predictor of the eventual robotic uprising) was so influential that his birthday doubles as National Science Fiction Day.

Stephen Hawking’s Birthday – January 8

The world’s most famous physicist and inspiration for The Theory of Everything, there’s very little Stephen Hawking can’t do. He’s so cool he shares a birthday with Elvis Presley AND David Bowie.

Thomas Edison’s Birthday – February 11

Modern science’s greatest villain (thanks to his treatment of Tesla), Edison’s legacy as a businessman and inventor is still hugely influence in the scientific community. The man held over 1,000 patents.

Charles Darwin’s Birthday – February 12

Also known as Darwin Day, Charles Darwin’s birthday is an international day devoted to celebrating science, reason, and the bravery to think outside the box.

George Gamow’s Birthday – March 4

The man who helped develop the Big Bang theory celebrates his birthday on this day. A pioneer in quantum mechanics and quantum theory, Gamow also wrote the popular science book One Two Three… Infinity.

Emmy Noether's Birthday - March 23

An influential German mathematician known for her groundbreaking contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics.

Max Planck’s Birthday – April 23

Nobel Prize winner Max Planck is the father of quantum physics. His theories revolutionized the world of theoretical physics alongside Einstein’s.

Nikola Tesla’s Birthday – July 10

The great underdog of modern science (due to being bullied by Edison), Tesla is now considered one of the most brilliant inventors who ever lived. There’s even a grassroots movement to turn his old lab into a museum.

Pi Approximation Day – July 22

Yes, there are 2 holidays devoted to Pi! This one’s a celebration of the fact that 7/22 is the fraction version of pi… because there’s no such thing as too much pi.

IBM / PC Day – August 12

Non-Apple people, rejoice! You’ve got a holiday, too! Initially intended to honor IBM on the date its first computer was released, this day is now embraced by PC devotees everywhere.

Terminator Judgment Day – August 29

Another holiday culled from a devoted pop culture fanbase, August 29 is the day in the Terminator film when computers become self-aware and launch a war on all humans. Fingers crossed that doesn’t actually happen this year!

Neil Degrasse Tyson’s Birthday – October 5

Head of the Hayden Planetarium and the host of COSMOS, Tyson is the closest thing astrophysics has to a celebrity. He’s even getting his own late-night talk show.

Mole Day – October 23

Named for the chemical unit of measurement, Mole Day is celebrated at 6:02 on October 23 in honor of Avogadro’s Number (6.02x1023) – the number of particles in one mole of substance.

Carl Sagan’s Birthday – November 9

The man who said “We are all made of star stuff” and was one of the greatest advocates of scientific thought is celebrated on this day.

Sir Isaac Newton’s Birthday – December 25

Isaac Newton not only discovered gravity (and refined the laws of how it operates in our universe), but he was born on Christmas Day. His fans choose to celebrate that day as Grav-Mass in his honor.

Full Calendar Of 2015 Geeky Holidays

In case you wanted to do even more celebrating, here’s a full calendar of all of the geekiest holidays we could find. Happy celebrating!

  • National Science Fiction Day / Isaac Asimov’s Birthday – January 2
  • Stephen Hawking’s Birthday – January 8
  • Wikipedia Day – January 15
  • Ben Franklin’s Birthday – January 17
  • Apple Computer Day – January 25
  • Winter-een-mas – January 26 – 31 (The official gamer holiday of the year)
  • Edison’s Birthday – February 11
  • Darwin Day / Darwin’s Birthday – February 12
  • Galileo’s Birthday – February 15
  • Copernicus’ Birthday – February 19
  • World Thinking Day – February 22
  • Alexander Graham Bell’s Birthday – March 3
  • Pi Day / Einstein’s Birthday – March 14
  • Tolkien Reading Day – March 25
  • Jane Goodall’s Birthday – April 3
  • James Watson’s Birthday – April 6
  • Max Planck’s Birthday – April 23
  • Morse Code Day – April 27
  • May the Fourth Be With You! / Star Wars Day – May 4
  • Florence Nightingale’s Birthday – May 12
  • Geek Pride Day / Towel Day / The Glorious 25th of May – May 25
  • National Paper Airplane Day – May 26
  • Tim Berners Lee’s Birthday – June 8
  • Ball Point Pen Day – June 10
  • International Weblogger’s Day – June 14
  • World UFO Day – July 2
  • Tesla’s Birthday – July 10
  • George Washington Carver’s Birthday – July 12
  • Embrace Your Geekiness Day – July 13
  • Gregor Mendel’s Birthday – July 20
  • Pi Approximation Day – July 22
  • National Inventor’s Month – August
  • IBM/PC Day – August 12
  • George Gamow’s Birthday – August 19
  • Terminator Judgment Day – August 29
  • Google Commemoration Day – September 7
  • Programmer Day – September 14
  • International Talk Like a Pirate Day – September 19
  • Software Freedom Day – September 20
  • Hobbit Day / Michael Faraday’s Birthday – September 22
  • Ask a Stupid Question Day – September 28
  • Techie’s Day – October 3
  • Neil Degrasse Tyson’s Birthday – October 5
  • Marty McFly Day / Alfred Nobel’s Birthday – October 21
  • Mole Day – October 23
  • Jonas Salk’s Birthday – October 28
  • Marie Curie’s Birthday – November 7
  • Carl Sagan’s Birthday – November 9
  • International Student’s Day – November 17
  • Evolution Day – November 22
  • International Shareware Day – December 14
  • Festivus – December 23
  • Grav-Mass / Sir Isaac Newton’s Birthday – December 25
  • Louis Pasteur’s Birthday – December 27

Did we miss a really important one? Do you have different ways of celebrating? Eager to propose your own geeky holiday? We’d love to hear about it! Comment below, or let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

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Posted on: 01/22/15 4:29PM
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Laurie-Anne Vazquez
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#MakePhysicsHappen @fiatphysica

“Fiat Physica shall hand the steering wheel of scientific innovation to the public, allowing them to contribute to science, communication, and discovery directly.”

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Chair of the Education and Public Outreach Committee, LIGO and Associate Professor of Physics, Columbia University
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