Towel Day

Celebrated annually on May 25th, Towel Day is a fun holiday that was started by fans of Douglas Adams who wanted to give him a fitting tribute. It is on this day that his fans carry towels around with them. That’s because, in Douglas Adams’ book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” towels are described as one of the most massively useful things an interstellar hitchhiker can have.

History of Towel Day

Douglas Noel Adams was born on March 11th, 1952, in Cambridge, England. In 1978, at the age of 26, he wrote a comedy broadcast that appeared on BBC Radio and was known as “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” It became so successful that it spawned books, stage shows, television series, computer games, and even a movie.

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, the last surviving man from Earth after a Vogon constructor fleet demolished the planet to make room for a hyperspace bypass. Fortunately, Arthur Dent was rescued from Earth by a human-looking alien writer named Ford Prefect, who writes for the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and helped Dent escape the destruction by hitching a ride on a passing spacecraft.

After his rescue, Arthur Dent explores the galaxy with Prefect and embarks on a myriad of adventures. In the book within the book, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” the importance of a towel to interstellar travelers is revealed.

To paraphrase the book, a towel can be used to keep yourself warm on the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; it can be soaked in water and used as a weapon in hand-to-hand combat; you can wrap it around your head to ward off noxious fumes; you can wave it as a distress signal during times of emergency; you can lie on it on the marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, and, of course, you can dry yourself off with it.

Unfortunately, Douglas Noel Adams died of a heart attack on May 11th, 2001. Three days later, a user named “Clyde” on an open-source forum suggested that Towel Day be established as a tribute to Douglas Adams. It was proposed that two weeks after his death (May 25th, 2001), Towel Day should be celebrated.

Towel Day Customs & Celebrations

People who want to celebrate this day can do so in various ways. They can take a picture of themselves with a towel and post it on social media using the hashtag #towelday. They can reread the books, or if they haven’t read them, start reading. People can also listen to the original radio show, throw an H2G2-themed party, or attend a local Towel Day event.

When is it?
This year (2024)
May 25 Saturday
Next year (2025)
May 25 Sunday
Last year (2023)
May 25 Thursday
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