HumanLight: December's Secular Holiday

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While others are lighting Hanukkah candles or decorating Christmas trees, atheists and humanists are holding their own December celebrations.

The secular holiday known as HumanLight began eight years ago. And while there are no set traditions, many of these gatherings use familiar rituals such as singing and candle lighting to highlight reason and human achievement.

HumanLight can be celebrated anytime on or around Dec. 23. The date was chosen because it is between the winter solstice and Christmas. This past weekend, groups gathered across the country to celebrate.

Because humanists don't have a bible or religious doctrine, there's no right or wrong way to celebrate HumanLight. Gary Brill, who co-founded the holiday, says the parties are usually family occasions. However, some humanists ignore the holiday, saying it feels too much like religion.

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