Whether you’re a full-blown cybergoth, a J-goth, gothabilly or anything in between, World Goth Day is there to celebrate you. It started out as Goth Day in the UK in 2009, but the following year, organisers pushed it out to salute goths all around the world.
It was accidentally engineered by DJ Cruel Britannia, who, despite noting that goths tend to shy away from the limelight, deserve a day to publicly embrace who they are. If you’ve gone to all that trouble to preserve what you believe is the ‘real you’, he says, don’t you think you owe it to yourself to shine for a day?
The orignal Goths were a nomadic Germanic people who fought against Roman rule in the late 300s and early 400s A.D., helping to bring about the downfall of the Roman Empire. the western tribes of Goths, while those in the east were referred to as Ostrogoths. Ancestors of the Visigoths mounted a successful invasion of the Roman Empire and ultimately defeated them in the Battle of Adrianople in 378 A.D.
The Visigothic Code combined elements of Roman, Catholic and Germanic tribal law, establishing rules for marriage and the inheritance of property. Interestingly, the Code was remarkably progressive with regard to the rights of women, who were allowed to inherit property and manage assets independently, separate from their husbands and male relatives. Under the Code, women could also represent themselves in legal proceedings and arrange their own marriages.
Goth is a subculture that began in the United Kingdom during the early 1980s. It was developed by fans of gothic rock, an offshoot of the post-punk music genre. The name goth was derived directly from the genre. Notable post-punk artists helped develop and shape the subculture include Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, the Cure, and Joy Division.
World Goth Day celebrates the sub cultural aspects of the Goth subculture. Aspects of the culture like fashion, music and art are celebrated by fashion shows, art exhibitions and music performance. Many of the events feature local Goth bands, and some have taken on a charity aspect with events in the UK and Australia supporting favoured charities like the UK Sophie Lancaster Foundation, a charity that tries to curb prejudice and hatred against subcultures.
The murder of Sophie Lancaster occurred in England in August 2007. The victim and her boyfriend, Robert Maltby, were attacked by a number of teenage boys while walking through Stubbylee Park in Rossendale, Lancashire. As a result of the severe head injuries Lancaster sustained in the attack, she went into a coma from which she never regained consciousness and died of her injuries thirteen days later. The police said the attack may have been linked to the couple wearing gothic fashion and being members of the goth subculture.
Twice a year at Halloween and in spring many Goths decend on the town of Whitby in Yorkshire, because of its links to Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, which was inspired by the abbey there. Accommodation is often booked up up to two years in advance for the festivals and there are many shops and other businesses that cater for the goth and steampunk trade.