September 2: National Beheading Day

No one seems to know when or where this holiday got started – let alone the rather disturbing question of why – but September 2 is widely known as National Beheading Day.

Here’s your trivia for the day: The “capital” part of capital punishment has to do with the Latin word for head. In other words, the original capital punishment referred to losing one’s head, whether by sword, ax, guillotine, or some other method of decapitation.

Now we hit another strange question: How on earth do you celebrate something like National Beheading Day? First, I’d suggest not going for the full experience; don’t get yourself beheaded! But what should we do? Well, there are plenty of interesting people throughout history who ended up beheaded, including two of Henry VIII’s unfortunate wives (wikipedia maintains a list here). If you’d rather go for fiction, there’s Nearly Headless Nick from the Harry Potter series, or you could shout along with the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland: “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!”

I’d love to hear how you celebrate National Beheading Day.

And how about this (once again, slightly creepy) passage from Revelation:

“I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheadedbecause of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.”

Revelation 20:4a



4 responses to “September 2: National Beheading Day

  1. Pingback: September 2: Labor Day | A Year of Holidays

  2. It stems from the Catholic Church’s observation of the beheading of John the Baptist–but they observe it on August 29th

    • Wow! I never heard that, but it definitely fits. A lot of holidays are twisted from church holy days, and they do occasionally slide a few days either way on the calendar. Thanks!

  3. Pingback: Newsjacking Is Not As Easy As It Looks | Steve Snider

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