Alice in Wonderland Day Date in the current year: July 4, 2022

Alice in Wonderland Day Alice in Wonderland Day is observed annually to celebrate one of the most beloved and imaginative children’s books in the world. Its date is July 4 because on this day in 1862, Lewis Carroll began to tell the story of Alice to Henry Liddell’s three daughters.

But let’s start from the beginning. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English mathematician who worked as a lecturer at his alma mater, Christ Church College at the University of Oxford. Carroll was close friends with Henry Liddell, the dean of the college.

On July 4, 1862, Carroll and Reverend Robinson Duckworth took Liddell’s thee daughters — Lorina, Alice and Edith — on a picnic. During a boat trip up the River Thames, Carroll told the girls a story about Alice in Wonderland. The protagonist of the story was named after Alice Pleasance, the middle sister. Lorina was incorporated into the story as the Lory, Edith as the Eaglet, Duckworth as the Duck, and Carroll himself as the Dodo.

Alice liked the story so much that she asked Carroll to write it down. He began working on the manuscript the next day, although the very first version of the story has not been preserved to our day. Carroll and the Liddell sisters went on another boat trip a month later, and Carroll expanded the plot of the story.

Carroll began writing the new version of the manuscript in November 1862. It took him two years to finish writing the book and create illustrations. Alice received the handwritten manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (the original title of the book) as an early Christmas gift on November 26, 1864. The manuscript didn’t include some of the episodes that would appear in the published version of the book such as the Mad Tea Party.

Scottish author and poet George MacDonald convinced Carroll to submit his book for publication, and John Tenniel provided 92 illustrations. The first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published by Macmillan in November 1865. Since then, the book has been translated into over 170 languages and has never been out of print.

Carroll referred to July 4, 1862 — the day when he began telling the story of Alice to the Liddell sisters — as the “golden afternoon” in the poem prefacing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The anniversary of the famous boat trip is informally celebrated as Alice in Wonderland Day all over the world.

How to observe Alice in Wonderland Day? Well, you can start with re-reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (or read the books for the first time if you happen to have never read them).

Then you can watch one of the book’s many adaptations, play a computer or video game based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, cosplay a character from the book, invite your friends over for a Mad Tea Party, visit a theme park, or splurge for an illustrated edition of the book. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #AliceInWonderlandDay.

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International Observances, Cultural Observances, Unofficial Holidays

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Alice in Wonderland Day, international observances, unofficial holidays, cultural observances, Lewis Carroll