October 6 is a day set aside each year to bring out your silly side while celebrating National Mad Hatter Day.
The fictional character, The Hatter (also known as The Mad Hatter) from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is typically acting silly, and that is how the creators of this day decided on their theme of silliness for National Mad Hatter Day. Sir John Tenniel illustrated The Mad Hatter and all of Lewis Carroll’s colorful characters beginning in 1864. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first published in 1865.
THE PHRASE “MAD AS A HATTER” COMES FROM THE LATE 18TH AND EARLY 19TH CENTURIES WHEN HABERDASHERIES USED MERCURY NITRATE. THE EXPOSURE TO THIS METAL OVER TIME CAUSED THE TRADESMEN TO DEVELOP SYMPTOMS MAKING PEOPLE BELIEVE THEY WERE MAD.
Taking our inspiration from The Mad Hatter (or any of Carroll’s characters for that matter) we may pursue laughable, absurd or even confusing adventures on National Mad Hatter Day. Break out from the usual routine. Ask ridiculous riddles much like The Hatter’s own, “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” Play croquet with plastic pink flamingos or wear a funny hat to work. Celebrate the day with silliness!
DID YOU KNOW? LEWIS CARROLL (A PEN NAME FOR CHARLES LUTWIDGE DODSON ONCE ANSWERED THE HATTER’S RIDDLE. IN THE 1896 EDITION OF ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND CARROLL WROTE AS PART OF HIS PREFACE, “BECAUSE IT CAN PRODUCE A FEW NOTES, THO THEY ARE VERY FLAT; AND IT IS NEVAR PUT WITH THE WRONG END IN FRONT!”
HOW TO OBSERVE
Grab yourself a top hat and let your silliness out! Use #NationalMadHatterDay to post on social media.
A group of computer technicians in Boulder, Colorado first celebrated Mad Hatter Day in 1986 as a day of silliness. October 6 was chosen due to the label tucked in the Mad Hatter’s hat band that read “In this style 10/6”.