NATIONAL MAD HATTER DAY | OCTOBER 6
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. Breakout 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 MAD HATTER DAY
Several ideas come to mind for celebrating this fun holiday. For one, grab yourself a top hat and let your silliness out! Try these other fun ideas:
- Host a Mad Hatter tea party
- Read from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
- Tell absurd riddles
- Attend a production of Alice in Wonderland
Whatever you do, be sure to invite others to join in the fun. It’s the best way to #CelebrateEveryDay. And be sure to use #MadHatterDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL MAD HATTER DAY HISTORY
A group of computer technicians in Boulder, Colorado first celebrated Mad Hatter Day in 1986 as a day of silliness. October 6th matches the label tucked in the Mad Hatter’s hat band that reads “In this style 10/6.”
Mad Hatter FAQ
Q. What is another word for hatter?
A. Traditionally, a hatter is a hat-maker who designs makes, or sells hats for men. A person who designs, makes, or sells hats for women is called a milliner. While the words are often used interchangeably in casual conversation, professionally, hat-makers maintain the traditional usage as the monikers define the products they create.
Q. What are some notably famous hats?
A. Hats, like brands or styles, can be iconic and instantly recognizable. Besides the Mad Hatters hat, several other notably famous hats include:
- First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s pink pillbox hat
- Dr. Seuss’s crooked, red and white striped top hat.
- Abraham Lincoln’s black stovepipe hat
- Davy Crockett’s coonskin cap
- Indian Jone’s fedora
- The Sorting Hat from Harry Potter
- Santa Claus’s red and white fur stocking cap
- Bob Marley’s rasta hat
- Sherlock Holmes’s deerstalker
- Marvin the Martian’s helmet
- Charlie Chaplin’s bowler
- Willie Wonka’s top hat