With Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa, it may seem as though the holiday season calendar is very crowded. But in Pennsylvania , non-theists will have their day too, when they enjoy their own gala holiday celebration of HumanLight on Sunday, Dec. 21.
The Greater Philadelphia Coalition of Reason (PhillyCOR), with attendees from five atheist, humanist, and freethought organizations in the Delaware Valley region, will join in the festivities of the holiday season with their celebration of HumanLight, a new humanist-oriented winter holiday.
Sally Cramer, President of the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia explains the importance of secular holiday celebrations: "The truth is, nontheists participate in traditions, too. We enjoy each other’s company, give thanks for our and others’ accomplishments over the past year, and celebrate the positive aspects of human nature together. We do this in a variety of ways, one being the Human Light celebration every winter."
This will be the third HumanLight celebration in the Greater Philadelphia area. Joe Fox, President of the Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia commented, “Last year we moved to the Williamson to accommodate more people. We just need to keep getting the word out. There are so many nontheists out there, especially families with children, who would appreciate a holiday celebration that promotes modern values.”
This year, the HumanLight event starts at 12:30 pm with a cocktail hour, followed by a luncheon at the Williamson Restaurant, 500 Blair Mill Road , Horsham. Emcee will be Martha Knox , a local Humanist celebrant and the keynote speaker will be Tony Hileman , Senior Leader at the New York Ethical Society.
Entertainment for young and old alike will be provided by Storyteller Bill Wood and Irish musical duo Whisky Johnny .
HumanLight was founded by members of the New Jersey Humanist Network in 2000 as a winter holiday to celebrate the ideals of reason, hope, compassion and humanity. It has since been celebrated around United States and United Kingdom since 2001. HumanLight also aims to ameliorate the possible isolation that may be felt by those who do not celebrate the December religious holidays.
The atheists, humanists, and freethinkers who form PhillyCOR promote human needs and interests in the here and now, not in an afterlife, and act according with the secular values of tolerance, compassion and reason.
Children aged 17 and under are admitted free if accompanied by an adult. Tickets, which include the luncheon, are $30. for adults who register by December 14, and $35. for those who register after December 14. The price is $20. for students. Guests may register by sending a check made out to The Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia: P.O. Box 161, Willow Grove , PA 19090 or online at www.hagp.org/HumanLight.html.