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42 Ways to Celebrate Towel Day on May 25th

Mostly harmless suggestions for honoring Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Towel Day
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  • Photo Credit: 'Don't Panic' book cover

Douglas Adams changed the universe forever with his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, and Towel Day is the annual tribute to Douglas Adams by his fans. 

Celebrated on May 25th since 2001, the holiday calls for readers to carry a towel around everywhere… yes, everywhere. The first Towel Day celebration commenced two weeks after Douglas Adams' sudden passing, and now it is a worldwide celebration of the late author. 

The towel’s importance is explained in the third chapter of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but to summarize: The towel is the number one thing a hitchhiker should bring with them on a trip around the universe. It can be used as protection from weather. It can double as a blanket, a bag, clothes, and anything you can think of. The towel is your friend, and its benefits are endless. 

Whether you’ve been an avid Adams’ fan from the start, or you just discovered HGTTG recently, get ready to celebrate Towel Day on May 25th! We’ve listed 42 ways to honor Adams below, so grab your towel and enjoy. 

1. Carry around your favorite (clean) towel with you all day.

This is the entire essence of the holiday, so make sure you pick your best towel to show off to the world. And take it everywhere. No towel gets left behind.

2. Answer every question with “42.” No. Matter. What.

According to HGTTG and Adams, “42” is the answer to the “Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” So yeah, answering every question with 42 is a pretty crucial step. Especially because it is the only correct answer — to anything.

3. Have a 'Best Towel' competition among your friends.

The more the merrier! A holiday isn’t complete without good friends, good memories, and a little rivalry. Create a runway with your towels, throw a photoshoot, or hang them up like an art gallery and pick the best of the best. Winner gets bragging rights until next year’s Towel Day.

RELATED: 10 Hilarious Douglas Adams Quotes

Towel Day
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  • Towel Day in Innsbruck, Austria. 

    Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

4. Lay on your towel somewhere outside and re-read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

What could be a better way to enjoy Towel Day than getting some sun and reading the book that started it all? We’ll tell you a secret — not much.

5. Make a donation to your favorite environmental organization or charity.

Douglas Adams was a major advocate for conservation and protection of the environment and animals. Honor him by making a donation to an organization or charity that will help protect our planet.

6. Attend an in-person event listed on http://towelday.org/ near your area.

If you live in Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, or the United States, you can potentially find an event to attend IRL! 

7. Attend one of the online/Zoom events listed on http://towelday.org/.

Zoom fatigue is real, but not for Towel Day! Because of COVID-19, most of the annual events for Towel Day may not be happening, but there are still plenty of virtual events to join. From livestreams and live readings to video contests, there are tons of online events to get in on.

8. Read Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!

Before he became an internationally bestselling author, Neil Gaiman was just another one of Douglas Adams' many fans. Don't Panic is his charming companion guide to all things HGTTG.

Interview: Neil Gaiman Talks the Timeless Appeal of Douglas Adams

9. Spread the word on social media with #towelday.

Show off your beautiful towel and let your friends know what’s happening on Towel Day through social media. Post on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with #towelday and see your fellow hitchhikers’ posts.

10. Sleep under the stars with your towel.

A total embodiment and dedication to the hitchhiker life, this is one of the best ways to celebrate Adams and the day.

11. Make a fort with your friends and all of your towels together to watch a movie or TV series made based on Adams’ books.

Whether it’s the HGTTG TV series, the movie, or the Dirk Gently's Detective Agency TV show, this is one of our favorite ways to celebrate. Not only does it make us nostalgic, but it also makes for a super-cool setup to have a TV binge session.

12. Buy 42 $1 scratch-off lottery tickets.

Listen, Adams said it once, we said it again: 42 is the answer to the “Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” Taking that logic and buying 42 lottery tickets sounds like a good plan to win big.

13. Read one of Adams’ books other than HGTTG.

Of course Adams is known for much more than HGTTG. From Dirk Gently’s Detective Agency, to The Salmon of Doubt and Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet, he has an entire array of great options to get lost in for the day.

Towel Day Krasnoyarsk
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  • Towel Day celebrants in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. 

    Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

14. Hang up a "DON’T PANIC” flag.

The only requirement is that it’s in all caps, just like the original cover.

15. Go strictly by the name of one of Adams’ characters for the day.

So many to choose from: Arthur Dent, Dirk Gently, Ford Prefect, Trillian, Professor Chronotis. Base it off your favorite character, or who you think best fits your personality! Bonus points if you choose Zaphod Beeblebrox.

16. Donate a towel to the software engineering company Don’t Panic Labs' annual towel drive..,

Located in Lincoln, NE, the company hosts the towel drive for the People’s City Mission. Constantly in need of new and used towels, this is a great way to get involved in the celebration while also giving to those in need.

17. Have a Towel Day party where everyone gives a toast on what Adams’ work means to them.

A great way to get your friends together, cherish the life and work of Adams, and enjoy hearing and telling how his work touched your lives. 

18. Turn an old towel into a pair of new fuzzy slippers.

These will definitely be a pair of slippers that any galactic hitchhiker would be envious of.

19. Use your towel as your personal bag for the day.

It’s extremely simple: lay all of your belongings in the middle of the towel, grab all four corners together, and there you have it! A brand new bag at no extra cost, AND it’s sustainable!

20. Hide yourself from the harsh sun rays under it.

Protect that precious skin at all costs.

21. Make a nice little hammock for your pet friend.

Whether you have a small dog, a cat, or some other pet at home, this is a great way to give them a cool place to nap while paying homage to Adams.

Towel Day Brazil
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  • Towel Day 2007 in Brazil. 

    Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

22. Play the 1984 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy video game for instant nostalgia.

Loosely mirroring the plot of the series, this video game allows you the opportunity to play as Arthur Dent as you try to navigate different challenges and puzzles throughout the universe.

23. Take a trip to the United Kingdom and explore Adams’ hometown.

This one may be a little short notice, and it may be a while until it can happen because of COVID-19. However, you can celebrate Towel Day by at least planning a trip to the U.K. in which you explore Cambridge, where Adams grew up.

24. Listen to some Pink Floyd and play the guitar.

Adams was passionate about music, especially Pink Floyd and Procol Harum. Apparently, Adams even owned 24 left-handed guitars when he died. Honor him and his love for music by listening to his favorite bands and learning to play some of their songs on the guitar.

25. Read one of Adams’ books in front an audience, bonus points if read in a slam-poetry style.

Whether it's at your own Towel Day party, or a night out on the town, doing a live reading of Adams' books can bring the community together. And yes, bonus points will be given out for excerpts read in a slam-poetry style. Why not?

26. Go for a swim in a pool/lake/beach for the sole reason of drying off afterwards with your towel.

Let’s go back to the basics for a moment. A towel’s first function is to dry us off after a swim or shower, so using a towel for this reason would be a classic way to celebrate Towel Day.

27. Write some stand-up comedy jokes using inspiration from Adams’ work.

Embrace the true essence of the HGTTG’s franchise by coming up with some killer science-fiction comedic content.

28. Plan your next trip using the best tips you can gather from HGTTG.

This is one of the best ways to plan a fantastic adventure while also staying on a budget. Being a galactic hitchhiker gives you the opportunity to travel to the ends of the universe while also saving some major coins, so it’s possible to plan that trip abroad you’ve always dreamed about.

29. Pick your favorite restaurant, declare it as “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe,” and start a new tradition of eating there every Towel Day. 

This will not only help you feel like you’re really a part of the HGTTG world, but it also will bring a little bit of your personal touch to the day as well. And don’t forget to bring your towel!

30. Go backpacking across Europe to embody Douglas Adams’ own life.

Legend has it that Adams was lying drunk in a field, somewhere in Austria, with the book The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to Europe in his hands and staring up at the stars when he decided someone needed to write a hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. That sounds like the perfect inspiration story to us.

Towel Day
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  • Towel Day celebration. 

    Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

31. Design and build your own dream spacecraft.

How are you going to hitchhike across the universe if you don’t even know what your dream starship would look like? While you might not buy your own  (hitchhiker's are often on a budget, after all), knowing what your ideal spaceship would look like will allow you to be more selective in whom you choose to take a ride with. 

32. Drink a beer with 4.2% alcohol.

Bonus points if you give your toast to Adams’ with this beer. Double bonus points if you and your friends drink it at your Towel Day party.

33. Enter the Galactic Hitchhiker’s annual “Worst Dressed Sentient Being in the Known Universe” contest.

Don’t come for us if you win, though. It might be a harsh reality check, but at least you’re a winner! 

34. Write some fanfiction based on HGTTG or any other of Adams’ books. 

This is a great way to take Adams’ iconic work and add your own touch to it. Writing your own fanfiction for his books will get the creative juices flowing and honor his career — and who knows, maybe you’ll write the next hit sci-fi series!

35. Go old-school and listen to the original radio show with the CDs and your car radio. 

The radio show is split up into six series, with the latest airing as recently as 2018. The complete radio series can be purchased as a collection in CD format. Enjoy feeling the nostalgia kick in as you cruise around listening to the original radio show.

36. Buy yourself a brand new towel to use for next year’s Towel Day celebration.

What better way to prepare for next year’s Towel Day than by purchasing a new towel? Treat yourself to a fresh towel that will have you counting down the days to May 25th, 2022!

Hitchhiker's Guide tattoo
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  • Photo Credit: nevermindtheend / Flickr (CC)

37. Get a Douglas Adams-inspired tattoo.

Show your everlasting devotion by getting a tattoo in honor of Adams. 

38. Watch a nature documentary about dolphins. 

Appreciate these brilliant creatures before they ditch our dull planet. 

39. Explore the Douglas Adams tributes on Etsy. 

No matter your fandom, Etsy has a product for you — and HGTTG is no exception. Whether you want a Vogon poetry journal or an Infinite Improbability Drive emblem for your car, Etsy is a great way to celebrate independent artists/small businesses as well as Adams. 

40. Go stargazing.

Whether you have a telescope or will be relying on your bare eyes, looking at the cosmos is a natural choice for Towel Day — particularly since Adams has two separate celestial bodies named after him: the asteroids 18610 Arthurdent and 25924 Douglasadams.

41. Eat some peanuts.

You'll need them to regain your strength after hyperspace travel! 

42. "Share and Enjoy."

"Share and Enjoy" is the motto of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints Division, and it's also a great motto for Towel Day. 

Celebrate Adams' work by sharing and introducing Hitchhiker's Guide to a younger generation of readers. Then you'll have someone else to celebrate with next Towel Day!