9 Weird Subcultural Holidays You Didn’t Know Existed


Friday is May 25th, which the geeks of the world know as Geek Pride Day! They aren’t the only subculture to have their own yearly celebration, however — and no, we don’t mean the infamous Talk Like A Pirate Day (who does that?). There’s a lot of cool festivities to be had for those in the know, and a lot of them involve dressing up all fancy and walking around in public wearing petticoats and the like. Awesome, right? OK, maybe not, but we know you’re intrigued. Get your calendars ready and check out all the unofficial holidays we have to tell you about after the jump.

Geek Pride Day, May 25th

So many reasons for nerds and geeks to celebrate this Friday! It was originally chosen to celebrate the anniversary of the first Star Wars film’s release, but it’s also a day for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy enthusiasts to commemorate the passing of author Douglas Adams by carrying around towels, and it’s the day of the Glorious Revolution in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, for which fans wear lilac and raise money to give to Alzheimer’s charities (Pratchett was diagnosed with the disease in 2008). The day was officially conceived of by nerds in Spain, who celebrated in Madrid by creating a giant human Pac-Man game. Since then it’s become a worldwide phenomenon for all things nerdy.

World Goth Day, May 22nd

Unfortunately, if you weren’t in the know before Tuesday, then you probably just missed this holiday completely. Fortunately there’ll be another one next year, as there’s been every May since the 2009 BBC music festival that spawned the celebration. All the black lipstick and spiked chokers are for a good cause, though — the founders of World Goth Day are passionate supporters of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which seeks to promote tolerance and anti-prejudice laws following the killing of a goth woman in England.

International Lolita Day, first Saturdays in June and December

Spawned entirely by message boards, this biannual event is for fans of the cartoon-Victorian “Lolita” fashion subculture that first took root in Japan (and is only tangentially related to the Nabokov novel). Why two different days? To accommodate people who don’t live in temperate climates and have to take the weather into account when putting on their kawaii petticoats. After all, what’s the point of having so much frill on if you have to hide it under a parka? At least you can still wear an undersized top hat in every season.

International Steampunk Day, June 14th

One part Lolita, one part goth, and one part geek, steampunk is what would happen if you let Jules Verne loose in a old-timey costume shop — corsets, goggles, rivets, clockwork gears, dirigibles, that sort of thing. It’s fitting, then, that International Steampunk Day falls on Verne’s birthday. Maybe you should celebrate this year by picking up a copy of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea to read! Or you could just rent Wild Wild West on DVD.

Go Skateboarding Day, June 21st

Skateboard culture may have had its heyday in the ’90s, but the skaters are still alive and well, and next month you might want to watch out for them as you’re crossing the street. According to its official website, Go Skateboarding Day began in 2003 “as an excuse for skateboarders to make skateboarding their top priority.” Because it wasn’t already? Still, at least skateboarding is a physical activity, and we applaud any effort to make that cool. It would be cool if you guys would come and collect Avril Lavigne, though.

Juggalo Day, February 17th

Of course, this wouldn’t be a list about subcultures without a journey into the world of everyone’s favorite punching bag, the Juggalos. There’s not a whole lot of information out there about how the holiday came into existence, (despite their giant makeup-enhanced grins, ICP fanatics are pretty tight-lipped about their inner workings), but this past Juggalo Day there was a party in Detroit where participants engaged in “fowling,” which is apparently something like football and bowling. Actually, that sounds like fun. Can we play even if we don’t want to wear the clown paint?

National Edge Day, October 17th

In college, being called “straight edge” usually meant that you were the last person on your freshman dorm floor to start experimenting with alcohol. However, straight edge actually a full-fledged movement that can trace its roots to punks in the early ’80s. Straight edge people are all about the shaved heads and angry music associated with hardcore punk, but not so much about the drinking, smoking, and promiscuous sex; some even abstain from caffeine and follow a vegan diet. “National Edge Day” has become a worldwide event for the entire subculture, though the biggest celebration still takes place in Boston, where the holiday was launched in 1999.

National Punch a Hipster Day, June 1st

Hipsters are too cool to have their own holiday, so someone on Facebook invented a holiday for them! It’s called “Punch a Hipster Day.” No one wants to celebrate these culture-appropriating, PBR-drinking, fixie-riding clowns, after all. But good luck finding anyone who will actually admit to being a hipster to punch.

National Flannel Day, February 10th

Hey, not all people who look like hipsters wear schlocky pseudo-Native American headdresses and gentrify everything. Some are kinda neat! For them (as well as lumberjacks and grunge throwbacks), we have National Flannel Day. Wear the plaid with pride, ladies and gentlemen.