Towel Day

Towel Day

Infobox Holiday
holiday_name = Towel Day
type = International

caption = Towel Day 2005, Innsbruck, Austria, where, by his own accounts, Adams got the inspiration to write the "Guide".
official_name = Towel Day
observedby = fans of the author Douglas Adams
date = May 25
observances = carrying a towel throughout the day
relatedto = Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

Israeli fan celebrating Towel Day] Towel Day is celebrated every May 25 as a tribute by fans of the late author Douglas Adams. [cite news| title = Towel Day, Its Time Has Come | work = BBC| date = 2001-05-16 | url = | accessdate = 2008-02-26] The commemoration was first held in 2001, two weeks after his death on May 11 2001. [Cite news| last = Kornblum | first = Janet | title = Hitchhiker, grab your towel and don't panic! | work = USA Today | year = 2001 | date = 2001-05-24 | url = | accessdate = 2008-02-26] On this day, fans carry a towel with them during the day to demonstrate their participation and mourning of the author. The towel is a reference to Adams's popular science fiction comedy series "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".


The original article that began Towel Day was posted at "Binary Freedom", a short lived open source forum.

Towel Day: A Tribute to Douglas Adams
"Monday May 14, 2001 06:00am PDT"

Douglas Adams will be missed by his fans worldwide. So that all his fans everywhere can pay tribute to this genius, I propose that two weeks after his passing (May 25, 2001) be marked as "Towel Day". All Douglas Adams fans are encouraged to carry a towel with them for the day.

So long Douglas, and thanks for all the fish!

|D Clyde Williamson, 2001-05-14

Chris Campbell and his friends registered the website to spread the word, reminding people not to forget to bring their towels. Towel Day was an immediate success among the fans and many people sent in pictures to show off themselves with their towels. [ [ presentation of's picture archive] on January 24 2002]

The original quote that referenced the greatness 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 vapors; 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 (a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); 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: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, 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 hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker 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.)


Several news sources around the world have mentioned Towel Day, including the major Norwegian newspapers "Aftenposten" [ [ Ikke glem håndkleet!] , "Aftenposten", 25 May 2007] and "NRK Nyheter" [" [ Den internasjonale håndkledagen] , "NRK Nyheter", 23 May 2007] , and National Public Radio, Los Angeles. [ [ Galaxy Travelers Have Critical Tool on Display] , "National Public Radio, Los Angeles", May 25, 2007]

Towel Day was also recognized by several smaller members of the media, especially Swedish newspapers and news sites on the web.

Towel Day has also been adopted as a Discordian Holyday by many practicing Erisians. It coincides with Discord 72 on the Discordian calendar.


External links

* [ Towel Day - Celebrating the life and work of Douglas Adams]
* [ Towel Day website]
* [ Unofficial Towel Day community]
* [ Fan proposing the idea of making Towel Day an annual event] on h2g2
* [ Towel Day photos] and [ Towel Day group] on Flickr

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