Esther Day is not about metaphors. It is not about gestures. Instead of mass produced greeting cards and baked goods, it calls for an uncommon honesty and bravery.
As the story goes, John and Hank Green asked Nerdfighter Esther Earl (now a published author) to decide how the community would celebrate her birthday every year. Given the opportunity to create a holiday, Esther chose to make it about love, family, and friends. When John uploaded the first annual video in August of 2010, he said “The words we use to describe the things we feel matter. [...] So maybe Esther Day is the day where we think, ‘who do I love who I have trouble saying I love you to?’”
Esther passed away from thyroid cancer later that month; she was sixteen.
Since then, Nerdfighters have participated in Esther Day, celebrating the power and importance of love. Videos are uploaded, songs are sung, and we tell the people we love that we love them in no uncertain terms.
It sounds simple enough. In truth, it often comes as a challenge – being honest and unapologetic about love almost feels counterintuitive sometimes. We flee vulnerability.
This campaign – like Esther Day – is about changing that.
In the 2013 Esther Day video, John called the holiday “a Valentine’s Day for the rest of love.” There is truth to that and it is an easy comparison to make, but his is a different kind of celebration.
On Esther Day, we act for love: to uplift each other and create a more positive fandom; to empower and inspire our community; and to increase empathy. Our goal is nothing less than to make Esther Day a globally recognized, baggage-free holiday about love and gratitude.
In the months leading up to Esther Day, we want to make this community an everyday celebration of our favorite holiday. We want you to join in.
Here are a few ways you can participate:
Before Esther Day
- If you’re seeing The Fault in Our Stars, take a selfie or a picture with your friends making the shape of a heart with your hands. Tag your photos #EstherDay wherever you upload them.
- Plan your #EstherDay projects and share your plans to inspire others.
- Attend a Nerdfighter or HPA Chapter meetup celebrating Esther Day.
- Attend an HPA-TSWGO sponsored Google Hangout with [TBA awesome partners].
On Esther Day (August 3rd)
- Tell a friend or family member that you love them: pick up the phone, make a YouTube video, send them a text, an email, an owl, or some treacle tart.
- Post your final #EstherDay projects online to share them with the world
- Attend the Esther Earl Rocking Charity Ball at LeakyCon.
The beauty of this is that you can figure out what works best for you and then go do it. You can scream I love you’s from the rooftops or you can whisper them. Text messages, YouTube vids, Tumblr posts, scavenger hunts, postcards, positive reviews on Yelp: there’s no wrong way to tell someone you love them.
This is what it comes down to: love is awesome. Love is important. Love is what saved the wizarding world and, long before that, its residents. Fandoms become communities when we celebrate loving not just a book or a movie, but each other.
Whether it’s via owl post, social media (#EstherDay) or at LeakyCon in Orlando, please join us in celebrating love and celebrating each other during this year’s Esther Day.
The Esther Day Project is supported by: This Star Won’t Go Out, The Harry Potter Alliance, Eff Yeah Nerdfighters!, LeakyCon, Penguin Books, MTV Act, The Dinner Party, Evanna Lynch, Anthony Rapp, Pottercast, LeakyNews, and the Leaky Cauldron.