Spirit Day

Spirit Day Quick Facts - CA

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2024 DateOctober 17, 2024
2025 DateOctober 16, 2025

Spirit Day

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Spirit Day History

Spirit Day is an annual observance aimed at raising awareness against bullying and supporting LGBTQ+ youth who disproportionately face harassment and discrimination. It is a global event that encourages individuals, communities, and institutions to wear purple – a color symbolizing the spirit advocated by the LGBTQ+ community – and to participate in various initiatives that promote inclusion, respect, and diversity. Spirit Day has become prominent since its inception, engaging millions of participants worldwide, including schools, businesses, celebrities, athletes, and politicians.

Spirit Day has particular resonance in Canada, given the country's commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and the protection of LGBTQ+ rights. The observance was conceived in 2010 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan in response to a series of LGBTQ+ youth suicides. Spirit Day gained widespread support through social media platforms and is rooted in Canada's national dialogue on acceptance and inclusivity. Canadian schools, businesses, organizations, and public figures have actively participated in Spirit Day events, emphasizing the need to spread messages of solidarity and allyship.

Canadians mark Spirit Day on the third Thursday of October, aligning with its international observance. Across the nation, individuals and organizations don purple attire and accessories to demonstrate their support. Events and activities led by various schools, non-profit organizations, and community groups aim to foster conversations about LGBTQ+ issues, challenge misconceptions, and engage in educational initiatives. Spirit Day not only spreads awareness of the struggles faced by LGBTQ+ youth but also provides an opportunity for Canadians to reaffirm their commitment to creating a more inclusive and understanding society.

Spirit Day facts

  • Ultimately, I want Spirit Day to make just one person feel a little bit better about his or herself, to feel safe enough in their own skin to be proud of who they are - Brittany McMillan
  • Participants on this day often wear purple as a visible sign of support for LGBTQ youth.
  • Spirit Day was first created in response to a series of bullying-related suicides of LGBTQ students in 2010.
  • People are encouraged to wear violet or purple on Spirit Day as it symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • The concept of Spirit Day was created by Canadian high school student Brittany McMillan in 2010 after a string of prominent suicides of gay students in the USA.

Top things to do in Canada for Spirit Day

  • Wear purple dress or attire as a show of solidarity for those LGBTQ students who may be facing bullying or harassment.
  • Take a pledge against bullying by signing your name at Take the Pledge Against Bullying
  • Wear purple to show your support for LGBTQ+ youth and stand against bullying.
  • Volunteer at a local LGBTQ+ community center or organization.

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