By Dixie Allan
Public Domain Vintage Illustration
Every year on October 6, we celebrate Mad Hatter Day, the time to don a hat and get silly.
In 1986 a group of computer people in Boulder, CO celebrated a general day of silliness, inspired by the drawings of the Mad Hatter by John Tenniel in Alice In Wonderland. It was announced that year on computer networks, becoming more popular as people realized the value of being silly…some people did less damage by celebrating silliness than if they had done their jobs.
In 1988 it was first recognized as a official holiday and received its first national press coverage.
The Mad Hatter is a fictional cartoon character depicted in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The Mad Hatter is always acting silly. So, on Mad Hatter Day, it is only fair and fitting to act a little silly yourself.
Despite being a silly day, the selection of the date was actually quite logical. The Mad Hatter wears a top hat. On the front of the hat is a slip of paper with "10/6" written on it. The paper is believed to be an order to make the hat, and that it costs ten shillings sixpence.
Here is an interesting fact… in the 8th Century, mercury was used in hat making in a process called "carroting". Mercury poisoning drove some hatters crazy (mad).
Typically, people celebrating Mad Hatter Day don a zany hat but don't forget that this is the day to be silly and celebrate silliness. So grab yourself a top hat, and have a a very silly Mad Hatter's Day!