When is Sadie Hawkins Day?

Sadie Hawkins Day History and Facts

October 6, 2021
Sadie Hawkins Day
Everett Collection/Shutterstock

Ever heard of Sadie Hawkins Day? Find out more about this quirky holiday—and how it all got started.

What Is Sadie Hawkins Day?

On November 15, 1937, cartoonist Al Capp, creator of the Li’l Abner comic strip, introduced the idea of a day in fictitious Dogpatch, USA, when all unmarried ladies, including the character Sadie Hawkins, could pursue their men. If the men were caught, marriage was unavoidable.

The idea took off in real life in November 1938, when the first recorded “girls-ask-boys” Sadie Hawkins Day dance was held. In 1939, Life magazine reported that more than 200 colleges had held Sadie Hawkins Day events. Although it had not been his intention, after the Sadie Hawkins Day debut and subsequent popularity with his readers, Capp included the event in his comic strip every November.

When Is Sadie Hawkins Day?

The date of Sadie Hawkins Day events can vary. The Almanac uses the first Saturday in November. (A Saturday is a great day to have a fun dance, after all!) 

Some celebrate on November 15 because that is the anniversary of the original comic strip. However, some places in the United States may celebrate it on November 13.

Leap Day

A similar tradition is associated with February 29 in leap years. Long ago, Leap Day also was known as “Ladies’ Day” or “Ladies’ Privilege,” the only period of time when women were free to propose to men. It is thought that this event may have been based on a Scottish law in the 1200s or on an Irish legend, but no one knows for certain.

What Do You Think?

Do you think Sadie Hawkins Day still feels relevant today? Whatever your opinion, it’s a fun look at times’ past and an interesting idea for young girls and boys today!


Reader Comments

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Sadie Hawkins 1988...my 1st date, 1st Love

The Sadie Hawkins dance at school meant nothing to me until I met my 1st "everything"! We shaved 1 class ... choir class ...and went to a choral festival where I finally met him. Later, when the Sadie was about to happen, I got up the nerve to ask him to the dance. We dressed as hillbillies, and when the photographer took our picture, he said "Lil Abner! Daisy Mae! It's you!" That handsome boy and I dated the rest of that school year until his dad suddenly moved his family to another state. It was my senior year. Fast forward to Christmas 2010, after 21 years and a divorce each,my HS sweetheart found me through social media. In 2011, he moved to my homestate to be with me. In 2013, I asked him to marry me and we were married exactly 1 year later! Thank you, Al Capp, for creating the Sadie Hawkins Day dance which led me to the love of my life! And, thank you, OFA, for sharing the history of this wonderful event! I hope that schools around the country will continue to keep this alive for all of the painfully shy people like me so that they, too, might possibly meet the loves of their lives.


As a clueless male in Wisconsin in the 60's I knew what it was about. I had hopes of the class beauty asking me to the dance, but that did not happen. When I did get asked, I was completely disappointed but at least I got asked! Eventually I found the love of my life, although I was undeserving and it had nothing to do with the Sadie Hawkins Day dance. God does indeed work in mysterious ways; I am living proof...

I wish Sadie Hawkins Day was

I wish Sadie Hawkins Day was a more well-known. Even at this day in age, guys don't like it when a girl asks them out - I know from experience. At least Sadie Hawkins Day/Dance would be a decent excuse.

Sadie Hawkins Day

I remember when I was a kid & reading "Lil' Abner" in the funny pages of the newspaper. My sister had a plaque that celebrated Sadie Hawkins. It's a funny how it started in 1937 with a comic in a newspaper. I know it's leap year & it's tomorrow!! YOLO!!

Sadie Hawkins. My mom!

When my mother left home as a young lady she was given her first nickname. Her first name was very difficult to spell or say so she quickly was given the nickname Sadie as her last name was Hawkins. She was universally known as Sadie until she married Dad.
And my school had Sadie Hawkins week, but no dance which made it a nonevent except for the couples “going steady”, in the 60’s.

Sadie Hawkins Day

We had a Sadie Hawkins dance every year when I was in high school. In fact, photos from that dance are a highlight of every yearbook.


Happynes way life for boys and girls in today hawkins day very interesting

Sadie Hawkins Day

Raised in New England we celebrated this day with much fanfair and an interesting and long now forgotten teaching and opportunity to show core values and character cherished by the tradition. We held true to opening many doors that were closed in earlier years. It was amazing to find that overlooked person that may have had a crush on you and you were totally unaware due to social and religious pressures. Yes that was over 5 decades ago, but regardless we never married all of them, lol, but we sure built friendships that lasted. Men were very honored at these surprises where a lady would have the courage to ask a gentleman to dance. I know I was. What better way to open the door of ones true inner feelings? Today? I am not too hyped on all the political correctness we stuff down people’s throats. My take.... we all bleed red. Guess I am just old school. I still advocate Sadie Hawkins Day. :-)

Sadie Hawkins Day

I was like the one part that thought is was about it being on Feb. 29 th. A Leap year. It only happened once every 4 years. That's what we were taught in Elementary School, by a teacher of English, Greek Mythology and other folk lore during a leap year. If a girl asked a guy to be her boyfriend, or at a dance to dance with her, then you HAD TO. But after you were 18 and on Feb. 29th. that if a girl asked you to marry her, you had to. That's why on Leap years day (Feb. 29) I would avoid all the gals I didn't like and would always be available to the ones I did. haha

I would enjoy reading about

I would enjoy reading about the Scottish law and Irish legend. Please, post those. Would be awesome.

When I was a teenager, we

When I was a teenager, we celebrated Sadie Hawkins Day. The girls would spend weeks decorating a corsage for the boys to wear, usually a stuffed toy with ribbons and trinkets hanging from it. The girls would take the boys out and pay their way all evening. It would be like a date only the boys would have to wear the corsages all evening. This took place in Winnipeg during the 70s. It was great fun.

sadie hawkins day

when i was at summer camp LONG ago, i was about 8 years old and "in love" with my older brother's counselor, Bill. on sadie hawkins day i chased him all over camp until i caught him. LOL. i don't know what happened after the older girls at camp caught their men. Bill was nice enough to let me catch him (he was not a young man!). i don't remember what happened after that, but i never forgot it. that's the only sadie hawkins day event i ever took part in, but i know i had fun! :]

Oh the memories...Love it!

This article brought back fun memories of when I was in high school in the 70's. We had a Sadie Hawkins dance every November - and yes - girls would ask a boy to attend with them. And unlike Homecoming or Prom dances where the attire was formal, Sadie Hawkins dances were informal (i.e. Jeans, Flannels, the gym decorated with hay bales and picnic tables, etc.). But alas, the boys were not then betrothed to us lol! What a fun trip down memory lane thanks to this article! I hope schools still do this nowadays :)


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