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A little over 42 years ago, Douglas Adams introduced the world to his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (HGTTG)—and the place hasn't been the same since. After the author's untimely death on May 11, 2001, his fans proposed a memorial to take place 2 weeks later, and Towel Day was born. It's initial success made it an annual event. Now, fans throughout the universe honor the legacy of Douglas Adams every May 25th. Don't panic—just read on for a multitude of fun, frivolous, and mostly harmless ways to celebrate Towel Day.XResearch source
1 1 of 16:Carry a towel with you wherever you go.
- An interstellar traveler never leaves home without a towel. HGTTG established that a towel is the most important thing you can have with you. On Towel Day, if you do nothing else, don't forget your towel.XResearch source
- The story behind the towel: When Adams was vacationing in Greece with friends, he always kept people waiting because he couldn't find his towel. Adams came to believe that someone who really had it together would always know where their towel was.
2 2 of 16:Answer any question with the number 42.
- Provide the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. If you're an HGTTG fan, you know there's no better answer response "42." What you might not know is that Adams admitted the number itself doesn't actually mean anything—it was just a number that sounded funny to him.XResearch source
- The author's statement hasn't stopped numerous conspiracy theories from sprouting up about the "true" meaning of the number. In honor of Towel Day, you might indulge in some numerology and invent your own conspiracy theory to spread.
3 3 of 16:Sprinkle famous Adams quotes into conversation.
- Quote Adams to show your admiration for his work. Adams had quite the reputation for being a witty man, and there's no doubt his writing is hilarious. When the occasion presents itself, throw out one of these wise lines:XResearch source
- "I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer."
- "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by."
- "I'd rather be happy than right any day."
- "Reality is frequently inaccurate."
- "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
- "Life is wasted on the living."
- You live and learn. At any rate, you live."
- "A cup of tea would restore my normality."
- "So long, and thanks for all the fish."
5 5 of 16:Play the HGTTG video game.
- The original 1984 text-based game is free to play online. Channel your inner Arthur Dent with this fun throwback. You can play either a Java or Flash version of the game online, and best of all, you don't have to pay for the privilege.
- The BBC's Flash version allows you to save games, so you can come back every year and try to beat your high score.
- Fly your HGTTG flag proudly. Buy a banner and display it wherever you are on Towel Day. You could hang it outside your home or over your desk at the office. If you're having friends over, hang it in the room where you'll all be hanging out.
7 7 of 16:Host a Towel Day party.
- Hold your party at a pub for a classic Adams twist. As a native Brit, Adams was a fan of pubs—that makes it the perfect place for your Towel Day party. Meet up with your friends for pints and toast to Adams and his legacy.
- You could also host a party in your own home with an HGTTG theme. You could even make it a costume party with prizes for the best costumes of characters from the series.
8 8 of 16:Read HGTTG or another Douglas Adams book.
- Celebrate by reading if you prefer a more quiet day. If you're not really feeling like a party or being around a lot of people, curling up with a fresh copy of HGTTG is a great way to spend Towel Day. If you don't feel like reading HGTTG again, here are some other Adams titles you can try:XResearch source
9 9 of 16:Watch the movie or TV series.
- Hold a viewing party or curl up and watch by yourself. Watching the movie or TV series is a calm, passive way to celebrate Towel Day if you feel more like taking it easy. If you don't want to buy your own copy, you can stream the 2005 movie through Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and other streaming services.XResearch source
10 10 of 16:Listen to the original BBC radio series.
- Go old-school with the radio broadcast that started it all. When HGTTG was first broadcast on BBC4 in 1978, the world was changed forever. What better way to spend Towel Day than to go back and relive those magical moments when it all began?XResearch source
- The original radio series was the first radio comedy on the BBC to be broadcast in stereo.
- When the book was first published in 1979, the last page featured a mail-order ad for an album version of the radio series. That album charted in its first year, selling more than 120,000 copies, despite not being sold in stores or played on the radio.XResearch source
11 11 of 16:Donate to an environmental cause.
- Honor Adams's legacy as an environmentalist. Adams actually spent part of his life living at an animal shelter run by his maternal grandparents. His respect for animals and belief in their intelligence runs throughout his books. When you help save the environment or protect endangered animals, you help further his efforts.XResearch source
12 12 of 16:Help the needy with a towel donation.
- Participate in the annual towel drive held by Don't Panic Labs. If you happen to live in or near Lincoln, Nebraska, where the software company is headquartered, you can take your towels to one of the many public collection sites around the city. But if you live elsewhere, you can still donate through the company's website.XResearch source
13 13 of 16:Attend a live event.
- Celebrate the day with a large group of Adams fans. Head on over to the official Towel Day website and check the listings—if a group near you has an official event, it will show up there. Join fan clubs to find out about events in advance or even help with the planning.XResearch source
- You might also see posts about different events if you follow #towelday on social media.
14 14 of 16:Dress in costume as a character from HGTTG.
- Get creative and replicate your favorite character. With movies, TV, and book illustrations, you have plenty of sources of inspiration to create your costume. Since many of the characters are just wearing street clothes, you likely already have the pieces of a passable costume at home—you just have to put them together.
- For example, to go as Arthur Dent, all you really need are some pajamas, a robe, and some slippers. Top off your costume with a copy of HGTTG and, of course, a towel.
- If you're not really into cosplay, you can still dress for the day with an HGTTG t-shirt.
15 15 of 16:Get a tattoo inspired by HGTTG.
- A little ink is a permanent reminder of your love of HGTTG. It doesn't have to be big and fancy—you could just get the number "42" tattooed somewhere small and inconspicuous. Or you could always go wild with a photo-realistic portrait of your favorite character or Adams himself.XResearch source
- A favorite quote from the series is also a popular choice.
16 16 of 16:Take a trip to the UK or Europe.
- Spend Towel Day in Cambridge, England, where Adams was born. In Cambridge, you can spend time with the spirit of Adams himself. Stroll the streets of his youth, then head into a pub where Adams might've once raised a pint.XResearch source
- Innsbruck, Austria, where Adams claimed he came up with the idea for HGTTG, also has a town-wide celebration of Towel Day every year.XResearch source
- Not a huge HGTTG fan? No problem! May 25 is also International Geek Pride Day, so let your geek flag fly—even if it doesn't involve a towel.XResearch source
- Don't panic.