World Goth Day

Observed annually on May 22nd, World Goth Day is a holiday that encourages members of the goth scene to come together to celebrate their existence and proclaim to the world that they exist. This holiday originated in the United Kingdom but has since become an international event.

This day is celebrated with smaller, more intimate celebrations, as well as on a much larger scale. The holiday celebrates all the subcultures of the goth movement, including Haute Goth, Cybergoth, Gothic Lolita, Victorian Goth, Deathrock, and Traditional Goth. No matter how this day is celebrated, it’s sure to highlight the uniqueness of goth culture in all its forms.

The History of World Goth Day

Goth is a music-based subculture that originally began in the UK during the 1980s but quickly spread to the rest of Europe and North America. It was created by fans of Gothic Rock, a genre that has been used to describe the music of several bands, including The Doors.

The name of this genre came from a review written in The Williams Record. Critic John Stickney used the term “Gothic Rock” to describe the music of The Doors in October of 1967, and the moniker sort of stuck. The Doors wasn’t the only band that shaped the early aesthetic of Gothic Rock, however.

Other bands that contributed to this genre include David Bowie, The Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop, and Brian Eno. During the late 1970s, the term “Gothic” was also used to describe post-punk bands such as Magazine, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Joy Division.

During the 1980s, a variety of different goth bands emerged. These included Play Dead, Flesh for Lulu, Blood and Roses, The Cure, and Ausgang. American Goth began with Christian Death and 45 Grave. This style of gothic music was more punk-influenced and quickly became known as Deathrock.

This genre would split into different subcategories, including Death Metal, Black Metal, and American Goth. Of course, a variety of different bands could be categorized as goth, as there were plenty of bands that were willing to don the garb and the attitude of the genre.

Regardless of how a person categorizes the bands that perform in the many different goth subgenres, there are similarities that each of the bands shares. Some of these similarities include influences from Gothic horror literature and/or horror films, and sometimes even BDSM culture.

For fans of traditional goth in the mid-1980s, crimped hair and black lipstick were common fashion elements. Of course, other gothic fashion subgenres have emerged, and these include Punk, Victorian, Renaissance, Androgynous, and Medieval. World Goth Day was eventually created in 2009.

This happened while a radio station in the UK was discussing the different rock and metal subgenres. Goth music DJs, Martin Oldgoth, and Cruel Britannia decided to go ahead and create this holiday based on that discussion. They placed it on May 22nd, and it has been observed on this day ever since.

Observing World Goth Day

Although this holiday is traditionally observed by people who identify with the Goth Movement, a person doesn’t have to be a member of that scene to enjoy the fashion or the music of this movement on this day. People can listen to goth music, read Gothic literature, or even watch movies that include goth characters.

Movies such as The Addams Family or Edward Scissorhands. And people can spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #WorldGothDay on social media. This is a day for people to enjoy the dark side of life and show off their style.

When is it?
This year (2024)
May 22 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
May 22 Thursday
Last year (2023)
May 22 Monday