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. Here at the Almanac, we use the first Saturday in November. A Saturday is a great day to have a fun dance! Others celebrate on November 15th because that is the anniversary of the original comic strip. However, some places in the United States may celebrate it on November 13th or some other 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!