Towel Day on May 25 is an annual holiday created to celebrate author Douglas Adams by his fans. Adams wrote the classic sci-fi novel, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” This day was organized in memory of him after he suffered a sudden heart attack at the age of 49. His fans wanted to find a way to commemorate his life’s work, and after having one towel day, its success made it a yearly event. On this day, fans carry towels around everywhere they go. Today, we are celebrating this holiday with a towel wrapped around our necks because, we too, love Douglas Adams!
A tribute to Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Towel Day sees fans of the author and the book carrying towels with them to work, to school and as part of their daily activities.
The most important thing that you need to remember in order to celebrate is DON’T PANIC; no matter what the day throws at you, draw comfort from the knowledge that you’re armed with your trusty towel.
Whether you’re a fan of high-tech, circuitry-enhanced towels with more features, bells and whistles than a supercomputer, or if your towel of preference is a simple, old-fashioned fabric hug, all that matters is that your towel never leaves your side.
The wonderful folks over at Lemon.ly have seen fit to celebrate towel day by producing a handy, helpful guide to some of the key ways in which you might consider using it. In truth, we think that this really only scratches the surface, and that if you really want to celebrate properly you’ll come up with a whole range of unique use-cases which others can learn from and put to good use.
History of Towel Day
Towel Day is celebrated on May 25, the same day Adams died because fans noticed that it was the only date mentioned which had the most significant following. The day has over time built up status as a kind of ‘‘geek holiday’’ due to linkage with the popular series.
Why a towel? It’s said the towel holds much importance in ‘‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’’ with much detail. Adams wrote about the importance of towels as being the most helpful item for an interstellar traveller. In chapter three of the book, Adams says, “A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.”
This is not all. Adams has a lot more content on towels and their uses, reiterating the strength of the towel especially on this day. Adams strongest phrase was ‘‘never go anywhere without your towel.’’ This day has been celebrated now for 19 years and is a great occasion for science fiction fans all over the world to come together and rejoice…with their towels. It is said that Adams was a humorous writer and witty character and that this day reflects his lovable silliness.
Towel Day timeline
What Is the Universe For?
On Towel Day, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti signals a Towel Day greeting and reads from ‘‘The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy’’ from the International Space Station.
The Good Towels
The Norwegian public transport company Kolumbus gives away special towels to customers.
Mind Bogglingly Big
In January, the Huffington Post lists Towel Day as a cult literary tradition.
The first towel day ever is celebrated on May 25, 2001.
In The End
Star Wars was released on May 25, 1977, the same day as Adams foreboding death.
Towel Day FAQs
How do people celebrate Towel Day?
Grab your favorite towel and head down to the pub with a group of friends (and this year, by “pub” we mean your kitchen, and by “group of friends” we mean over a group video chat.)
Why do you need a towel in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?
“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value.” – Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
Do you know where your towel is?
Of course we do! Someone in control of virtually any situation is someone who knows where their towel is, according to the famous interstellar guide. Our towel is right he – oh. We could have sworn it was here only a moment ago.
5 Facts About Towel Day
His and hers
In the Netherlands, fans don towels, and are told to wear lilac on Towel Day in honor of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.
A leaf as a legal tender
Adams apparently predicted an environmental emergency in ‘’Last Chance to See.’’
It was the Sunday afternoons
In Italy, fans celebrate the day before Towel Day because it is a Sunday, a religious day.
Adams was an environmentalist and loved animals, campaigning on behalf of endangered species most his life.
In London, there’s a yearly ‘‘Stand Up for Towels Day’’ with a tour of the Hitchhikers relevant sites.
Towel Day Activities
Carry a towel
The hardcore fans of ‘‘Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy’’ will be carrying a towel around for the day, so grab your towel and join in! Just make sure that it’s clean. Take a photo of you wearing your towel, and upload it to social media with the hashtag #towelday.
Use a line from the series
Weave in some of the phrases from the ‘‘Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy’’ into your conversations. Try "life, the Universe, and Everything", "humans are not proud of their ancestors, and rarely invite them around to dinner", "time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so", or "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by." It may confuse folks around you, but those who know, know.
Visit the website
Check out the towleday.org website and see what everyone else is up to on this day. Inspire yourself and find other ways to celebrate or join in with others as a group, in your area, or even your country. Or be a go getter and make your own towel day event that fans can attend.
Why We Love Towel Day
You can get loads of information on the day from the twitter account @towelday and the official website, towelday.org. You can find out stuff like information on the life of Douglas Adams, details on the “Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy” radio series, and interact with the 7,000 + fans who follow this day.
This holiday gives us a chance to read or reread Adams life’s work. Go back and immerse yourself in the trilogy of “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy” and how about “Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency”, “The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul” and so many more titles that made Adams so beloved.
Galaxy binge session
This day also gives us a chance to binge on the shows linked to Adams. So, watch a movie, or a TV series derived from his books. Do it with your friends and carry your towels together. Celebrate this great author and come together to watch some good and classic TV.