Mad Hatter Day

Mad Hatter Day is a holiday celebrated on October 6th and is based on the Hatter character from Lewis Carroll’s book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It is characterized by general silliness and people wearing silly hats—normally a top hat as worn by the Hatter himself.


The history of this holiday can be traced back to 1986 when a group of computer programmers decided to celebrate a day of silliness by wearing top hats inspired by the picture of the Hatter in the illustrations done for the book by John Tenniel.

Since the top hat in those illustrations had a note saying “In this Style 10/6,” they decided to celebrate the holiday on October 6th (the sixth day of the tenth month).

However, it should be mentioned that the note in the original illustrations wasn’t meant to depict a date but rather the cost of that style of hat during the 19th century, which was ten shillings and sixpence.

Nonetheless, the date stuck, and the holiday quickly spread throughout the BBS system (a bulletin board system that allowed computers to connect with each other via a terminal program so users could chat, play games, and exchange software). By 1988, Mad Hatter Day had received considerable press coverage and was made an official holiday.

Customs, Celebrations, and Traditions

This day can be celebrated by wearing a hat—preferably a top hat of some kind—and engaging in all sorts of silly fun. Some people also celebrate the holiday by enacting scenes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 6 Sunday
Next year (2025)
October 6 Monday
Last year (2023)
October 6 Friday
Art & Entertainment, Weird & Obscure