annually on August 3rd (since 2010)
Esther Day is celebrated each year on Esther Grace Earl's birthday. Esther passed away in August of 2010, shortly after her 16th birthday, following a lengthy battle with thyroid cancer. Among other things, she was a Nerdfighter—a member of an online subculture consisting of fans of Vlogbrothers, which was created by brothers John and Hank Green.
John Green became aware of Esther in 2007, the same year that Esther found out her cancer was terminal. They formed a friendship online and met in 2009 at LeakyCon, a Harry Potter conference. Shortly before her death, Esther spoke with John, and he told her that he and Hank wanted to celebrate her birthday as long as Vlogbrothers kept going. Esther then requested that the theme of love would be part of the day. Thus, the first Esther Day was celebrated in 2010. It has been celebrated every year since, and is a day that celebrates non-romantic love, and reminds people to vocalize their love for their friends and family.
Following Esther's death, John Green spoke about her in a vlog called "Rest in Awesome, Esther." He dedicated his book The Fault in Our Stars to her. He said that she was both an inspiration for him to finish the book, and was an inspiration for the book's protagonist, Hazel Grace Lancaster. Esther's parents, Wayne and Lori Earl, published This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl. It consists of a biography of Esther's life, as well as some of her journals, fiction work, letters, and sketches. They also started a nonprofit organization that supports families with children with cancer.
How to Observe Esther Day
Tell those close to you—your family and friends—that you love them, then show your love with your actions. This is how Esther wanted the day to be celebrated. You could also support This Star Won't Go Out, a charity started by Esther's parents that helps families facing childhood cancer. You could also read Esther's book, or explore her YouTube channel. John Green's The Fault in Our Stars could be read, or the film version of it could be watched.