Darwin Day

Celebrated annually on February 12th, Darwin Day – also known as International Darwin Day – is a holiday that commemorates the birth of naturalists and geologist Charles Darwin in 1809. This holiday is also a day to bring attention to Darwin’s contributions to science and is also used to highlight science in general. It is celebrated in the United States and all over the world.

Biography of Charles Darwin

Born in Shrewsbury, England on February 12th, 1809, Charles Robert Darwin was the second youngest of six children that were born to wealthy doctor and financier Robert Darwin and his wife, Susannah Wedgwood Darwin. In 1831, at the age of 22, he left for a five-year survey voyage on the HMS Beagle. As he studied many different types of animal and plant specimens all over the world, he began crafting his theory of evolution and his views on natural selection. 28 years later, he published “On the Origin of Species.” His theory argued that all life today comes from a single ancestor and that all of the diversity in the animal and plant kingdoms come about due to evolutionary processes which included genetic mutation, natural selection, and extinction.  On April 19th, 1882, he died in London.

History of Darwin Day

While the celebration of Charles Darwin’s life and work has been done sporadically since he died in 1882, it would be many years before an official holiday commemorating him would be created. Over the years it was recognized by numerous groups of scientists, academics and by universities all over the globe. In the United States, it was made an official holiday due to House Resolution 67 which designated February 12 as Darwin Day in the United States in 2015.

Darwin Day Customs & Celebrations

Darwin Day can be celebrated in a number of different ways. People can attend one of the many exhibitions and exhibits on evolution, they can read The Origin of the Species or they can visit a natural history museum. They can also use the hashtag #darwinday in all of their posts on social media to get the word out about it.

When is it?
This year (2023)
February 12 Sunday
Next year (2024)
February 12 Monday
Last year (2022)
February 12 Saturday
Nature & Environment, Science