National Emo Day Date in the current year: December 19, 2024

National Emo Day Emo music and its associated subculture might seem like a thing of the past, but they have experienced a sort of revival lately. There’s even a holiday that celebrates all things emo, called National Emo Day. It is observed annually on December 19.

Emo is short for emotional; this term originally referred to a style of rock music also known as emotional hardcore or emocore. The main characteristic feature of the genre is its focus on emotional, often personal or even confessional lyrics that often deal with themes such as love and relationships, failed romance, insecurity, self-loathing, pain, and even suicidal thoughts.

Emo music began to emerge in the 1980s as a sub-genre of hardcore punk. Although the origins of its name are uncertain, the term “emo” is believed to have been coined in the mid-1980s. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that emocore finally took its shape and became popular in the underground scene.

Emo broke into mainstream in the early 2000s, when Jimmy Eats the World’s album titled Bleed American went platinum. The genre remained hugely popular throughout the 2000s, which can be considered the Golden Era of Emo, and began to decline in the mid-2010s.

A distinct subculture associated with emo music emerged in the 1990s. Early emo fashion leaned towards geek chic, but this changed when emo gained mainstream popularity. Emo fashion of the 2000s and early 2010s included skinny jeans, tight black clothes, Converse sneakers or Vans, studded belts, black wristbands, straightened, usually jet-black hair with long bangs, and black eyeliner.

People who listened to emo music and dressed in emo fashion called themselves “emos” or “emo kids”. Some of the most popular bands emos listened to included Bullet for My Valentine, Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte, My Chemical Romance, Panic! At the Disco, Paramore, The All-American Rejects, and more. However, some of these bands distanced themselves from the subculture due to controversy and backlash.

What kind of backlash? Like all subcultures, emo was associated with a number of stereotypes; they included introversion, shyness, sensitivity, teenage angst, and being prone to depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. Some critics of the subculture even went as far as to claim that it promoted self-destruction and suicide; this is what led bands like My Chemical Romance and Panic! at the Disco to reject the emo label.

Although emo music and fashion aren’t nearly as popular as they once were, there is a holiday dedicated to the emo subculture. The origins of National Emo Day are unclear, but don’t let it stop you from celebrating all things emo if you want to. You can observe the holiday by listening to your favorite emo bands, making an emo playlist and sharing it with your friends, raiding your closet to throw together an emo-inspired look and pretend you’re going through an emo phase all over again, and spreading the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #NationalEmoDay.

Even if you don’t find emo music or aesthetic particularly relatable, there’s at least one thing you can learn from this subculture: you should not be ashamed to express your emotions. Bottling them up can be detrimental to your mental health, so getting emotional every now and then is totally okay and even good for you.

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National Emo Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the United States, emo music, emo subculture, emo fashion