Atheist Holidays?

July 4, 2007

I have been reading The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and have recently finished it. I enjoyed it a lot and read up on the man behind the novels. His death, friendships, and such.

Which inevitably brought me to … Towel Day. Towel Day is a day that was begun in 2001, the year that Douglas Adams died. It occurs annually on May 25th, the reason being that the first year it was that date and they held it again the next year on that same date.

It was held on May 25th in 2001 to keep it in close proximity to his death to maintain a high enthusiasm for the project. Some criticism, including my own after recently discovering the holiday, has come forward as to whether it would be better to have the day on the anniversary of his death, a date more attributable to Douglas himself, or something more “Hitchhiker-like” as a date like April 2nd (4/2).

As far as I can tell the “official” Towel Day site gives this amusingly very “Hitchhiker-like” reason for keeping the date as May 25th.

  • Open up Windows calculator, or use any calculator that allows you to switch between Hexadecimal and Decimal modes.
  • Set windows calculator (calc.exe) to scientific mode if it already isn’t in that mode
  • On the row of options that lists: Hex, Dec, Oct, Bin; select the option HEX.
  • Now add the numbers that comprise the current date of Towel day, i.e. 5+25.
  • Hit Enter, you should get 2A.
  • Now on the aforementioned row of options of: Hex, Dec, Oct, Bin; select DEC.

The answer you have should be proof enough to keep the date for Towel Day. The answer is in keeping with the spirit of the book and the man’s sense of humor so I will not question it any further myself.

As for how to celebrate the day, it is simple. Carry your towel with you wherever you go on May 25th.

I look forward to celebrating a very hoopy frood next year.


“Official” Towel Day site

Wikipedia entry on Towel Day


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