If you feel like there’s a national day for just about everything, you’d be pretty much right. In October alone, there are days like National Get Funky Day, National Orange Wine Day, National Fluffernutter Day, National Moldy Cheese Day, National Grouch Day, National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day (we can def get behind that!), National Black Cat Day (makes sense), National Hermit Day (we all understand that one now) and National No Bra Day (all the females working from home get that one, too). But one day that we can really sink our teath into is National Mad Hatter Day on October 6.
The Mad Hatter is, of course, one of the main characters from Lewis Carroll’s 1865 story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The Hatter is a whimsical character drawn by the book’s illustrator Sir John Tenniel as wearing a tall top hat with “10/6” written on it, which refers to the cost of a hat in those days-- 10 shilling and 6 pence. Thus 10/6 is the perfect day to celebrate National Mad Hatter Day.
A few Mad Hatter tidbits:
- In 1986, a group of computer programmers in Boulder, Colorado were inspired by the original Hatter illustrations to petition for National Mad Hatter Day. It was first recognized as an official holiday in 1988.
- Lewis Carroll may have been inspired to create a hatter character since he grew up in Manchester, England, where hat-making was the primary industry.
- The phrase “mad as a hatter” was not used in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It had its origins in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when haberdasheries used mercury nitrate to cure felt. Over time, the vapors caused the hatters to develop mercury poisoning, which had symptoms similar to madness and led to “mad as a hatter” becoming a colloquialism for a person suffering from insanity.
- In the story, Alice encounters the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the slumbering Dormouse in the middle of their tea party… one that is perpetually ongoing due to the Mad Hatter’s watch having stopped. And so, the tea party never ends!
You can understand why we are all for never-ending tea parties, of course. National Mad Hatter day is generally celebrated by the wearing of outrageous hats, throwing fun, Alice-themed tea parties and just general madcap silliness! If you haven’t any idea why a raven is like a writing desk, enjoy saying things that are vexing and maddening to your guests, wish with all your heart to wear outlandish headgear and can’t get enough of tea, we invite you to celebrate National Mad Hatter day with us.
For starters, we’ve put together a pairing of our existing Harney teas with some of the main Alice characters:
- Alice: Yellow & Blue (represents her long blond hair and blue dress as depicted by Disney)
- The Mad Hatter: Earl Grey Supreme (when you live in perpetual tea time, enjoy a classic)
- Queen of Hearts: HRP Hot Cinnamon Spice (hot like her temper, comes in an appropriately royal tin)
- White Rabbit: Ceylon Vintage Silver Tips (white in color, higher in caffeine like the rabbit’s personality)
- Cheshire Cat: Butterfly Pea Flower (purple like the Disney Cheshire Cat)
- Caterpillar: Roasted Buckwheat Matcha (green like the caterpillar with a roasted taste reminiscent of the hookah he smokes)
- March Hare: Victorian London Fog (when you dip a watch in butter, your mind is definitely in a fog)
- The Dormouse: Hemp Moringa Deep Sleep (for obvious reasons!)
Your Alice-themed teas in hand, throw together a tea party that is festive and anything but refined. While all that is mentioned about the Mad Hatter’s tea party is tea and bread and butter (along with no wine, even though it was offered), here are some ideas inspired by the story and its characters:
- Macarons in festive colors
- Shortbread cookies with “Eat Me!” written in icing
- Teacup-shaped sugar cookies with “Drink Me” written in icing
- Tophat-shaped sugar cookies with “10/6” written in icing
- Queen of Hearts bright red strawberries with the tops cut off
- Caterpillar-inspired Matcha muffins
- Bread and the best butter (keep away from watches!)
- Cucumber sandwiches
- Tea sandwiches
- King of Hearts Mushroom Tarts
- Assorted nuts!
Whatever you drink or eat or wear, raise a cuppa to a reason to be silly and childlike again! Happy National Mad Hatter Day!