Petrov Day 2020 and the pandemic


This year has been tough for in-person gatherings. Petrov Day, an event commemorating the anniversary of the Petrov incident on September 26th, 1983, which is typically an in-person event, is at risk from the pandemic. The LessWrong community is planning a virtual Petrov Day ceremony, but as I consider ritual and in-person gatherings important to community building, I wanted to work with our local group in Austin to create a COVID-19-compatible version of the ceremony.

Petrov Day candelabrum


  1. Forgo the customary potluck.
  2. The ceremony will be held outdoors (typically it's held indoors around a kitchen table or similar).
  3. Everyone will wear masks.
  4. Everyone will maintain physical distance.
  5. Minimize handling of ceremony equipment by multiple people.
  6. Designate a "Keep of the Flame" to perform most of the candle actions.

The forked repository with the changes and new versions of the handbook and organizer's guide is available on GitHub. The updated materials were announced to on LessWrong, but have, so far, not garnered much attention.

Big thanks to the folks in the Austin LessWrong who helped work on these updates.