Opposite Day, also known as National Opposite Day, is celebrated on January 25 in many English-speaking countries. This day began as a children's game, but anyone can participate on Opposite Day, by saying the opposite of what you actually mean, or by doing things the wrong way around. For example, say goodbye when you meet someone, and hello when you're leaving them. Or have dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner! This day is about turning everything upside down to have as much fun as possible.
Opposite Day is not an official holiday, but it quickly spread through school playgrounds across America, and even adults have begun participating on social media, by sharing posts with the hashtag #oppositeday or #nationaloppositeday.
The official origins of this holiday are unknown, but we do know that it was inspired by an old game that children used to play in the playground during the 20th century. The game consisted of children asking each other silly questions and then reversing the answers to be something funny and nonsensical.
Because we don't know the origins, we're not sure why January 25 was chosen to be Opposite Day. And while most agree that January 25 is the official National Opposite Day, some people observe it on January 7. Some people, with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, who enjoy doing things in reverse so much, might even choose to observe Opposite Day on the 25th of every month!
The Opposite Day 'paradox'
Celebrating the day raises a very interesting question that might leave you scratching your head. Some people claim that Opposite Day can't be celebrated because the holiday can't exist. In short, if everything that is said on Opposite Day means the opposite, this would mean that if you claim that a day is Opposite Day, the truth is that it is not Opposite Day. So this day can never exist. One way around it could be to say that today is Not Opposite Day, but that would completely change the meaning of January 25. Tricky, isn't it?
Paradoxical or not, Opposite Day is a very fun day to celebrate. Even Sponge Bob Square Pants has a whole episode dedicated to this day! It is fun to try and trick your family and friends by saying the opposite of what you mean, but it is also a challenge to keep it up for the whole day. Pranksters around the country love to celebrate this day, and many consider it the cousin of April Fool’s Day.
What to do on Opposite Day
This is an easy one, just do and say the opposite of what you mean all day, and let everyone you come across today know that you are celebrating Opposite Day.
Then you can truly surprise them by saying something such as:
- Say goodnight in the morning and good morning at night.
- If someone offers you something you want, like chocolate or a drink, say you don't want it.
- Have some pancakes with syrup for dinner.
- Wear your clothes backward, if you don't have to be anywhere today.
- Eat your dessert before your meal.
- Use "yes" for no, and "no" for yes.