One weird holiday on January 31 is National Backward Day. Check out the other weird January holidays!
History of National Backward Day
Wearing your clothes backwards, walking backwards – it seems like this weird holiday is a favorite of school children who want to celebrate it every day!
In fact, the idea that toddlers and preschoolers (and even elementary-age kids) love doing things backwards is evidenced by the character Miss Elaina in Daniel Tiger.
Adults can celebrate backwards day as well! Although it may be more difficult to wear your clothes backwards, you can do other things to celebrate instead.
Backwards Day was created by Sarah Nicole MIller and Megan Scott in 1961. They came up with the idea on January 29 while milking cows on the farm and came up with a set of rules for it. Their community loved the idea when they heard of it on the 30th, and so the 31st was proclaimed to be the official day.
Long before 1961, however, people were doing things backwards for centuries. In Rome they celebrated Saturnalia, a day wherein all social norms were turned upside down. Gambling wasn’t illegal, and slaves were served by their masters at the high table. Free speech was allowed – and even encouraged – on this holiday.
You could always follow the example of Leonardo da Vinci, who wrote backwards! He didn’t just write from right to left, but he also wrote all of his letters backwards as well. In order to read his writing, you have to hold it up to the mirror.
Palindromes are words, phrases, etc that can be written the same forwards and backwards. Some more well-known palindromes are racecar and Madam, I’m Adam. Humorously, the technical term for the fear of palindromes aibohphobia, which is, itself, a palindrome.
Just don’t get it confused with National Opposite Day, which was five days ago. And life shouldn’t be too bad today as long as the earth doesn’t start revolving backwards.
Anyone can celebrate this weird holiday. Unless you’re a penguin. Did you know penguins can’t walk backwards?
Ideas for National Backward Day
Walk backwards, speak in palindromes, write backwards, put your clothes on backwards, speak to someone facing away from them… there’s no end to the things you can do backwards today!
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