Friday, February 05, 2016

Creating new holidays

Celebration time?
I've been thinking a bit about the growth of special 'days' and more specifically, what kind of days are worth noting. You see a lot of this sort of thing on Twitter. They may be geeky jokes, but here are a few I like and think we should adopt as national holidays.

Pi Day – 3 March. 3.14 is the American way of laying out the date and also the approximation of Pi, the infinite number. Best way to celebrate: eat a pie, I guess.

The next two holidays bring to mind the confusion in Futurama between the Star Trek Wars and the Star Wars Trek.

5 April is First Contact Day, because in the Star Trek future-vision this is the date when Humans meet Vulcans for the first time, while testing a hyperdrive. The tests took place in Bozeman, Montana, which is also the place in The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon Cooper moves to after he decides Pasadena is too unsafe.

Less than a month later is of course, Star Wars Day. 4 May is a random date that relies on a pun (May the Fourth be With You). As you can see from the link, Disney are doing their best to use May the Fourth as an excuse to push merchandise. (Like they need an excuse!) In the last couple of years, the celebration has spilled over to the following day as well, now known as The Revenge of the 5th. Which looks a bit like Sith and references one of the dismal prequels.

Also slightly random is Towel Day, which is on the 25 May for convoluted reasons. Towel Day is in honour of Douglas Adams, who wrote The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, which suggests all hitch-hikers do their utmost to have a towel on them at all times while travelling. Observing the day is very simple: Carry a towel with you all day. 25 May is also celebrated as 'Geek Pride Day' because it was the day Star Wars was first released on in 1977). It was also the date of 'Wear the Lilac Day' after the Ankh-Morpork revolution in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, which feels more significant now that Terry Pratchett has passed away. 

Like Pi Day there is also Mole Day on 23 October, which isn't to do with the burrowing mammals, but is another maths thing.

You don't just have to have annual days. There are nine Square Root Days every century, occurring on the following dates:
  • 1/1/01
  • 2/2/04
  • 3/3/09
  • 4/4/16 - meaning there is one this year!
  • 5/5/25
  • 6/6/36
  • 7/7/49
  • 8/8/64
  • 9/9/81
So, maybe we'll get together to celebrate on the ninth of September 2081, if we make it that far. I will be 105 by then, and can't promise to remember what we should be celebrating.

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