According to the dictionary, a curmudgeon is someone who is bad-tempered and is usually an older person. It’s a word used to describe that cranky old man who tells everyone to stay off their lawn or that cranky old woman who complains about the younger generation.
These are usually negative representations, but on Curmudgeon’s Day, it’s used in a more positive way. On this holiday, people are encouraged to be the grumpy, cantankerous people they want to be. Anyone looking forward to that happening can do so on January 29th. This is the day on which the holiday is observed.
The History of Curmudgeon’s Day
Although we’re unsure who created this holiday or when it was created, we’re quite aware of why it was invented. This holiday was invented in honor of American actor, comedian, and writer William Claude Dukenfield.
If the name doesn’t sound familiar, then don’t worry. That’s because he’s most commonly known as W.C. Fields. William Claude Dukenfield was born on January 29th, 1880, in Darby, Pennsylvania. He began his show business career in vaudeville and quickly gained fame as a silent juggler.
He would later incorporate comedy into his routine and would become a featured comedian in the Ziegfeld Follies. He also starred in the Broadway musical comedy “Poppy” in 1923. W.C. Fields would gain the persona of a curmudgeon, and that would serve him well during his career. It’s also the reason why Curmudgeon’s Day is observed annually on his birthday.
Observing Curmudgeon’s Day
Obviously, one of the many ways to observe this holiday is by embracing a movie with a story that centers around curmudgeons. This can be 1993’s “Grumpy Old Men,” 1995’s “Grumpier Old Men,” 2000’s “Finding Forrester,” or 2008’s “Gran Torino.” Of course, there are dozens of other movies that feature grumpy people; all you really have to do is look for them.
Another thing that a person can do is just stay in the house and allow their inner curmudgeon to rule the house. Refuse to get out of your bathrobe and just spend the entire day cranky. Sometimes it just feels good to refuse to engage with the world—at least for a single day. Once the 30th of January comes along, you can go back to being a “normal” person.
We also encourage everyone to spread the word about this holiday far and wide. This can be done by barking about this holiday to friends and family members or by using the hashtag #CurmudgeonsDay on social media. Let everyone know why this holiday is important to you and let’s spread some crabbiness.