Drug holidays are not a new concept. Cannabis has plenty – the main one being 4/20 which has become so mainstream that even my elderly, foreign relatives know about it. We also have 7/10 (OIL/concentrates day), World CBD Day on February 1st, October 5th to commemorate the victims of prohibition, and a handful more. In keeping up with this trend, we’re seeing an influx of psychedelic-inspired holidays as well. Some are older and some are newer, but all are unique, fun, and important to the overall discussion of psychedelics in a modern society. ‘
Psychedelic holidays are a great way to learn about the compounds and spread awareness. To stay current on everything important happening in the industry, subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter. Also, it’ll get you premium access to deals on cannabis flowers, vapes, edibles, and much more! We’ve also got standout offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC, which won’t kill your bank account. Head over to our “Best-of” lists to get these deals, and remember to enjoy responsibly!
Psychedelics and Psychonauts
Psychedelic drugs, also referred to entheogens, are a subset of hallucinogens which contain compounds that can alter mood and perception. The term entheogens is Greek in origin and can be roughly translated to mean “building the God within”. The active compounds are usually found in nature, like psilocybin or mescaline, but they can also be manmade, like ketamine.
The high produced by these types of drugs is known as a ‘trip’, and can include various types of visual, auditory, and sensory hallucinations. The intensity of a trip can vary dramatically based on the specific compound and dose consumed, as well as individual tolerance and body chemistry. Sometimes, a user will experience no hallucinations at all, but rather a sense of general well-being, spiritual connectivity, and euphoria.
People who use these substances regularly, the psychedelic enthusiasts among us, are often referred to as psychonauts. The term “psychonaut” also comes from Greek and can be roughly translated to mean “mind sailor” or “navigator of the soul”, and is used in reference to those who devote themselves to exploring and expanding their consciousness through use of psychoactive substances, and occasionally, other mind-altering techniques like meditation or sensory deprivation.
Pyschonaut is a noun coming from the word psychonautics, the latter of which is used to refer to the various methodologies that researchers can utilize to learn about and explain the subjective effects of different states of altered consciousness, both drug-induced or via mediation and other techniques. A psychonaut is simply the researcher in this equation, also frequently known as “counter-experts”.
“World Psychedelics Day”
Out of our short list, this holiday is the newest one, officially established on June 20, 2021, and now going on its second year. The goal was simple: to create a day for global awareness, discussion, and celebration of psychedelic drugs – both synthetic compounds and traditional, natural entheogens.
According to their website, the WPD envisions “a time when synthetic and naturally occurring psychedelic medicines are better understood, made safely and legally available, and appreciated for all their beneficial, wondrous, and sacred uses.”
Of course, a bit of commercialism is involved, like with most holidays celebrated by Americans, but it’s a great networking opportunity for business owners, researchers, event organizers, and other industry stakeholders. Although this is a holiday established by an organization, you can always celebrate independently – either on your own or by doing something to make a change and spread the word locally, within your own community.
Bicycle Day and the Discovery of LSD
It was 79 years ago, on April 19, 1943, that Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann – the man who first synthesized LSD from ergot fungus, and psilocybin from mushrooms – went on his first trip. He dropped 250 micrograms of acid and rode his bicycle six miles (wartime restrictions prohibited vehicles from being on the roads at that time) to his home to experience the effects of this new compound he discovered. To commemorate his efforts on the psychedelics front, psychonauts have dubbed April 19th, as “Bicycle Day”.
Although it’s celebrated by psychedelic enthusiasts worldwide, Bicycle Day was actually an accident. Hoffman was working in the pharmaceutical department of Sandoz Labs when he was trying to create an analeptic medication, which is a type of stimulant for treating circulatory and respiratory problems.
On April 16, 1943, Hoffman accidentally absorbed a small amount of the compound through his skin and fell into what he described as a “not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination.” So, in other words, he experienced an enjoyable, low-grade trip. Because this was an accidental trip, Hoffman decided (as any good scientist and researcher would) to conduct an intentional experiment on himself using LSD. Three days later, on April 19th, he took the 250 micrograms of LSD (on purpose), went on his bicycle adventure, and the rest was history.
It’s not known exactly when the first Bicycle Day was celebrated, but it’s been a thing since sometime in the 1980s. As the story goes, a university professor started hosting small-scale acid parties every April 19th, and this eventually grew into a globally celebrated event. It’s worth mentioning that there is an actual World Bicycle Day as well, which is a UN-recognized holiday (since 2018) that takes place on June third.
A Tribute to Entheogenic Mushrooms
With magic mushrooms being one of the oldest and most popular methods for inducing a psychedelic trip, it’s no surprise that shrooms have their own holiday too. September 20th has been designated as that special day for activists and enthusiasts to join forces and discuss policy reform, relevant research, and anything else pertaining to psilocybin. Think 4/20, but for magic mushrooms instead.
Mushroom Day first became a staple in the world of psychonauts in 2015, when Nicholas Reville, a mushroom advocate from Providence, Rhode Island, declared it an “educational day of action” and began spreading the word. “9/20 was chosen because it is at the beginning of autumn, when mushrooms are most plentiful; because it is close to the equinox, representing a change in direction; and because it echoes 4/20 and the successful movement for marijuana decriminalization and legalization,” Reville stated in an interview with Rolling Stone.
And Reville is not the only person who believes mushrooms should be celebrated with their own day. Travis Tyler Fluck, a field coordinator for Decriminalize Denver, says he’s been trying to designate May 8th as the shroom holiday — locally at least — in honor of the day psilocybin was decriminalized there. “Our charge is to diligently integrate the profound insights and radical healing gifted to us by the mushroom, and in turn, honor that gift through our activism,” says Fluck.
Sometimes, progression comes in the form of small, collective changes. If you really want to see how accepted a substance is, start an appreciation holiday for it and see how fast the word spreads and how eager people are to celebrate. It’s the perfect way to bring together like-minded individuals and organizations, if only for a day, to learn where everyone stands on the issues and to discuss what the future holds.
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