Towel Day is celebrated on May 25th of each year as a tribute to the author Douglas Adams by his fans. One this day, fans carry a towel with them to demonstrate their appreciation for the books and the author, as referred to the Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The commemoration was first held in 2001, two weeks after Adams’ death on 11 May 2001.
The original quotation that explained the importance of towels is found in Chapter 3 of Adams’ work The 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. 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 miniraft 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 avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost.” What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)
—Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The emphasis on towels is a reference to Hitch-hiker’s Guide to Europe by Ken Walsh, which inspired Adams’ fictional guidebook and also stresses the importance of towels.
National Missing Children’s Day has been commemorated in the United States on May 25, since 1983, when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan.
In the several years preceding the establishment of National Missing Children’s day a series of high-profile missing-children cases made national headlines.
On May 25, 1979, Etan Patz was only six years old when he disappeared from his New York City home on his way from bus to school. The date of Etan’s disappearance was designated as National Missing Children’s Day. At the time, cases of missing children rarely garnered national media attention, but Etan’s case quickly received a lot of coverage. His father, a professional photographer, distributed black-and-white photographs of Etan in an effort to find him. The resulting massive search and media attention that followed focused the public’s attention on the problem of child abduction and the lack of plans to address it.
For almost three years media attention was focused on Atlanta, Georgia, where the bodies of young children were discovered in lakes, marshes, and ponds along roadside trails. Twenty-nine bodies were recovered before a suspect was arrested and identified in 1981.
Geek Pride Day (Spanish: Día del orgullo friki) is an initiative to promote geek culture, celebrated annually on 25 May. The date was chosen as to commemorate the release of the first Star Wars film, A New Hope on 25 May 1977 (see Star Wars Day), but shares the same date as two other similar fan “holidays”: Towel Day, for fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy by Douglas Adams, and the Glorious 25th of May for fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.
The initiative originated in Spain in 2006 as “Día del Orgullo Friki” and spread around the world via the internet.
Tim McEachern organized unconnected events called Geek Pride Festival and/or Geek Pride Day 1998 to 2000 at a bar in Albany, New York, which are sometimes seen as a prelude to Geek Pride Day.
In 2006, the Spanish blogger Germán Martínez known online as señor Buebo organized the first celebration, the day was celebrated for the first time in Spain and on the Internet, drawing attention from mainstream media. The biggest concentration took place in Madrid, where 300 Geeks demonstrated their pride together with a human pacman. A manifesto was created to celebrate the first Geek Pride Day, which included a list of the basic rights and responsibilities of geeks.
National Escargot Day is celebrated on May 24th of each year. Escargot is a dish of cooked land snails, usually served as an appetizer in France and in French restaurants. The word is also sometimes applied to the living snails of those species which are commonly eaten in this way.
Escargot, IPA: [ɛs.kaʁ.ɡo], is the French word for snail. It is related to Occitan escagaròl and Catalan cargol, which, in turn, may derive from a pre-Roman word *karakauseli. Similarly, Spanish and Portuguese use the term caracol.
Not all species of land snail are equally edible, and many are too small to make it worthwhile to prepare and cook them. Even among the edible species, the palatability of the flesh varies from species to species. In France, the species Helix pomatia is most often eaten. The “petit-gris” Helix aspersa is also eaten, as is Helix lucorum. Several additional species, such as Elona quimperiana, are popular in Europe; see heliciculture.
The purpose of World Turtle Day, May 23, sponsored yearly since 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue, is to bring attention to, and increase knowledge of and respect for, turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.
Turtle Day is celebrated worldwide in a variety of ways, from dressing up as turtles or wearing green summer dresses, to saving turtles caught on highways, to research activities.
Founded in 1990, American Tortoise Rescue is the founding sponsor of World Turtle Day. American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) is certified by state and federal agencies as a nonprofit 501(c)(3)corporation to provide for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle. Foundlings that cannot be adopted because of ill health remain in the care of American Tortoise Rescue for the remainder of their lives.
Featured in Chase’s Book of Annual Events, the day was created as an annual observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson, founders of the rescue American Tortoise Rescue advocate humane treatment of all animals, including reptiles. Since 1990, ATR has placed about 3,000 tortoises and turtles in caring homes. ATR assists law enforcement when undersize or endangered turtles are confiscated and provides helpful information and referrals to persons with sick, neglected or abandoned turtles.
World Turtle Day was started to increase respect and knowledge for the world’s oldest creatures. These gentle animals have been around for about 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of the exotic food industry, habitat destruction and the cruel pet trade.
Adults and children can do a few small things that can help to save turtles and tortoises for the next generation:
– Never buy a turtle or tortoise from a pet shop as it increases demand from the wild.
– Never remove turtles or tortoises from the wild unless they are sick or injured.
– If a tortoise is crossing a busy street, pick it up and take it in the same direction it was going – if you try to make it go back, it will turn right around again.
– Write letters to legislators asking them to keep sensitive habitat preserved or closed to off road vehicles, and to prevent off shore drilling that can lead to more endangered sea turtle deaths.
– Report cruelty or illegal sales of turtles and tortoises to your local animal control shelter.
– Report the sale of any turtle or tortoise of any kind less than four inches. This is illegal everywhere in the U.S.
In 2011, Jagex Games Studios hosted a number of events within their MMORPG, RuneScape, to celebrate World Turtle Day.