Don’t Panic! How to Remember Douglas Adams on Towel Day

by M-Berens
Young people celebrate Towel Day in honor of Douglas Adams

A group of young people celebrate “Towel Day” in Brazil, in honor of Douglas Adams, which has its roots in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series

Groups in countries around the world are starting to gear up for Towel Day which has taken place every May 25th since 2001. Douglas Adams was an author who was born March 11, 1952 in Cambridge, England and died of a heart attack on May 11, 2001. His most celebrated work, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series is the inspiration behind Towel Day.

To take part in this celebration you will need a towel. For those who can’t make the connection, Douglas Adams wrote in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “A towel… is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have… You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V… wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat… Any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”

Adams’ funeral service was held on May 16, 2001 in Santa Barbara, California. He was cremated with his own towel and his remains are buried in London, England’s Highgate Cemetery. A memorial service was held in London on September 17, 2001. David Gilmour of Pink Floyd played I Wish You Were Here. Adams and Gilmour were close and Adams had played guitar on two songs during a Pink Floyd Concert in 1994. Gary Brooker singer in Procol Harum and a close friend also performed at the memorial and the inspiration for The Restaurant at the End of the Universe came from Procol Harum’s Grand Hotel. Adams’ memorial service was the first religious service broadcast live online by BBC.

Douglas Adams was only 49 when he died. His fans have been celebrating Towel Day in his honor since 2001.

Douglas Adams was only 49 when he died. His fans have been celebrating Towel Day in his honor since 2001.

The first Towel Day took place two weeks after Adams’ death. An online article posted by D. Clyde Williamson, stated “Douglas Adams will be missed by his fans worldwide. So that all his fans everywhere can pay tribute to this genius, I propose that two weeks after his passing (25 May 2001) be marked as “Towel Day”. All Douglas Adams fans are encouraged to carry a towel with them for the day.
So long Douglas, and thanks for all the fish!”

With that message his fans around the world began organizing the event and spreading the word.

This year there are plenty of events from picnics to photo contests and bad Vogon poetry readings. Many bars, restaurants and shops around the world offer a discount to those people who are carrying their towel.

To read more about this year’s events visit has information about his lecture series and the environmental projects his family and friends continue to support on his behalf.

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