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Berlin Becomes the First Place in the World to Offer This Holiday to Atheist Students

Atheist students in Berlin have just been awarded their very own holiday, complete with a day off from school just like their Jewish, Christian and Muslim counterparts who are permitted to exit the classroom to commemorate religious celebrations.

world International Humanist and Ethical Union

The German capital will now officially observe World Humanist Day as a holiday, giving humanist, atheist and otherwise secular young people the chance to request a day off from classes each year to celebrate their worldview, according to the Associated Press.

Arik Platzek, a spokesperson for Germany's Humanist Association, praised the decision and said that this is likely the first official holiday granted to atheists in a state within the European nation and, most likely, the world at large.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union, a worldwide umbrella group for humanism, notes that the holiday — which originated in the 1980s — is celebrated every year on June 21 and that it is intended to highlight advances within the secular movement.

"It is an opportunity for humanists and humanist organizations to publicize the positive values of Humanism and to share the global concerns of the Humanist movement, and we’ve been celebrating the day since the 1980s," an official description reads.

The festivities are commemorated with parties or activist activities, according to the union.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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