Every day is backward somewhere in the world!
A backward day is a day when someone or a group of people, from the moment they step out of bed in the morning, choose to live their life in in reverse for a whole day.
Backward Day is a day when the whole world get turned upside down and inside out, day becomes night, and madness becomes sanity. It is a day to bend all the rules and to do all things in backward – and gain a different perspective on life; A day to celebrate diversity, creativity and freedom!
The National Backwards day is a special day that allows people to do things backward. You can find people wearing outfits backward or simply talking and writing backward during this day. If you are unsure how to celebrate this day, this article is a comprehensive guide.
What is National Backward Day?
The National Backward Day is celebrated on 31st January. The day is an opportunity for you to reverse your ways or direction. It is a special day to scrutinize your actions and determine how to switch them to make them effective and fun.
During this day, the world is turned upside down. It encourages people to do things differently and try out new living styles. Switch from your routine and adopt a new way of doing things on this particular day. Remember that there is no age limit to engage in the National Backward Day, and everyone can get involved. For instance, you can wear your pajamas during the day and wear your regular clothes at night.
The history of National Backward Day
Backward days has probably been celebrated as long as there has been human beings. In every culture there seem to have been a need to sometimes let loose and challenge its societal rules. For instance, Roma had Saturnalia, a legal holiday starting on 15 December when all the social norms were turned on their head as Saturn was celebrated. The festival tried to resemble how life would have been during the deities rule in the golden age. Slaves was served at the high table by their masters and license was given so that gambling was no longer prohibited and free speech and all ways of insult was permitted. All through the festivities shouts with the phrase “io Saturnalia” could be heard.
The greeks also celebrated a similar festival called Kronia and was dedicated to Kronos and held somewhere at the end of july and beginning of august. During Kronia the whole community including the slaves came together and feast on banquets where masters wait upon their servants and everyone celebrate by having fun, dancing, drinking and playing games together.
Kronia and Saturnalia has had a deep effect on other cultures and even today some of our festivities have been influenced by them.
The national backward day was created by Megan Emily Scot and Sarah Nicole Miller while on their farm. The two women came up with the original idea and created it in 1961. Over the years, people have adopted the day. Most schools celebrate this day by allowing their students to wear their uniforms inside or wear shoes on the opposite feet.
When is National Backward Day?
The National Backwards day is celebrated on 31st January of each year. People change their way of doing things and break from their everyday routines during this day. This day is quite famous for the school-aged kids who participate in all the backward fun. Everyone can celebrate this day as it is not confined to a specific religion, age group, or gender.
Backward days around the world
Every day someone in the world is celebrating a backward day, some just for fun and others attach some deeper meaning to it. Some people celebrate backward days on dates like 1001, 1111, 0110, 0220 and so on because they are palindromes. Palindromes are words spelled the same backwards, like name such as Hannah or or a sentence like “Live on time, emit no evil”. Others choose to celebrate april fools day as a backward day and in a way it is backwards when the society norm of telling the truth gets turned on its head.
In Sweden they celebrate a backward day on may 12 every year as a way to notice trafic safety for children. Through backward games and craft with a traffic theme and the Backward March as the highlight of the day, children in kindergarten manifests their right for safe travel in cars (children up to four years of age should travel backwards in their addon car seats).
Some people also honors Leonardo da Vinci on the day of his death, may 2, with a backward day. The artist was ambidextrous and able to write with his both hands at the same time, forward with one and in reverse with the other. According to wikipedia he was also able to write mirrored text that could be seen correctly through a mirror.
National Backward Day in the USA
Maby the most well known backward day is the National Backward Day which is an unofficial holiday celebrated in the USA on January 31 every year. There is no clear evidence who invented the National Backward Day. Some say that Megan Emily Scott and Sarah Nicole Miller founded Backward Day on 29th of January 1961. The story tells that the concept got out amid the community and later on, on 31st of January 1962, the first National Backward Day took place.
The day is especially popular with kids and celebrated with many school and preschool activities where kids are walking, talking and doing things in reverse. But the day is also celebrated by many adults who just want to have fun.
Backwards Day Ideas: How to Celebrate National Backward Day?
Depending on the individual, this day could be celebrated in lots of creative and different ways. People could simply wear their clothes backward, eat breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast, get ready the entirely opposite way, walk backward, write backward, or even try to say everything in a backward manner the whole day. To help you and your friends, family or students to celebrate the day we have made some suggestions for you what to do, eat and how to dress on any given backward day:
Things to do on a backward day
- Write in reverse
- Walk backwards
- Talk backwards
- Draw backwards
- Play games backwards
What to eat on a backward day
- Dessert first
- Upside down cake
- Dinner for breakfast, breakfast for dinnerBreakfast pizza
How to dress on a backward day
- Dress however you want as long as it is backwards 🙂
10 Tips on What to Do on a Backwards Day
1. Read Reversible Poems or Share them with Friends.
Reversible poems are great wordplay for enthusiasts. These works can be read from top to bottom or bottom to top. The fun part is the meaning changes once the reverse reading is done. The opposite opinions that these literary works display are intriguing. It can enlighten your mind on how to view certain things.
2. Learn About the History of the Holiday.
Did you know how National Backwards Day is conceptualized? It was inside a humble farm. A very peculiar way to create a holiday. Two brilliant women came up with the idea while milking cows. The name of these awesome ladies is Sarah Nicole Miller and Megan Emily Scott. They came up with the holiday rules on January 29, 1961. Then they spread the idea to their community. People loved the idea and supported it with open arms. January 31st became the chosen official date to celebrate. It was not changed ever since.
3. Create Videos that show things moving in Reverse.
National Backwards Day is popular with young people too. If you check out YouTube videos, there are productions about this. It shows how things will look if everything is done in reverse. Imagine a world where biking, skateboarding, walking, and dancing. It is awkward at first glance. But familiar at the same time, right?
Here is a sample media piece from the University of Portland:
4. Wear your Clothes with Reversed Text:
National Backwards Day is commemorated by many. To this extent, there are clothing designs dedicated to it. Wear shirts that display words in reverse. It is a playful and fun way to give tribute to this occasion. Gift them also to family, friends, officemates, or even your boss.
5. Wear Clothes in Reverse
When you were young, wearing clothes in reverse by mistake is laughed upon. But thanks to National Backwards Day there is a good excuse for this.
Wear your shorts, pants, socks, or shirts in inverse. You can even do it also for shades and eyeglasses. Do a funny photo session with family and friends. You can share it on social media or privately. It will surely be a moment to make wonderful memories. Here are some ideas you can consider:
For kids because its a thing to do at school:
For adults, because wearing clothes reversibly is fashionably correct.
6. Switch your Meals
One of the best ways to celebrate the day is switching your meals. For instance, you can have lunch for breakfast and breakfast for lunch. It is an ideal way to change your routine and experience something new.
7. Craft a Reverse Poem
Another challenge you can consider during this day is writing a reverse poem. You can write a poem from bottom to top and read it to others.
8. Write your Name Backwards
Another way is to write your name backward throughout the day. You can also write sentences backward, read books backward or watch your favorite movie backward. The day’s goal is to switch from the routine and do things differently.
9. Change the Meaning of Everything
You can also change the meaning of different things. For instance, you can say good morning at night instead of good night.
10. Talk Backwards Challenges
In a backwards word challenge (that anyone can play), individuals do their best to come up with a short list of words that may vary in complexity, and have to speak the words, in reverse, into their phone or computer.
With help from a smartphone and an app that will reverse one’s speech, contestants try their best to say a word backwards. The person who says the word in reverse the closest to the actual word receives a point. Generally speaking, you can play anywhere from first to 3 points, up to however many points you wish.
This competition can be a friendly game between siblings, friends, coworkers, really anyone who has access to a smartphone, a Nintendo 3DS/2DS’s voice-altering application, or even a tape recorder that allows you to play music or sounds backwards, however it is a little easier with the first two options. You can also use a reverse text app to get words spelled backwards to make things easier.
The backwards word challenge works best with a group of 2-5 people. Any more than that and the game can become a confusing mess of misplaced syllables and potentially offensive words. It is also a good idea to do it with a group of friends that you enjoy spending time around.
Choosing words for the backwards word challenge can be somewhat difficult. The best practice says anywhere between one to four syllable words. Words like “doggie”, “microphone” and “receiver” are great, as they don’t take too much time to think about, and allow more time for people to play, as well as more laughs to be shared. Any more than five syllables and it can become confusing. No one really wants to see you struggle to try and say “transcendentalism” for five minutes. Although, if you are playing on “hard mode”, it might be worth the laugh.
On Youtube and other social medias you can find a ton of fun Talk Backwards Challenges:
Games to play on a Backward Day
The easiest and best game which is liked by both adults and kids is musical chairs. All you have to do is play a song backward when the song is being played nobody is allowed to walk. When the song stops, everybody has to move. Make sure everyone walks backward.
Hide and Seek
Another lovely game which reminds us all of our childhood is Hide and Seek. It is all the same, but with a little bit twist. Normally, everyone hides and one has to find. But this time, one has to hide, and everyone else has to find.
In races, everyone has to run in the backward direction. And the one who comes last will be considered the winner. People might cheat a bit and deliberately run slower. In that case, revise the rules and the one who comes first will be considered the winner.
Don’t end up tangling yourself in ropes. Skip backward and make your way around if you can.
This board game has been a major time passing and entertaining game. It saves us from boredom in quite many impossible situations. Begin this game from the last digit which is 100 and make your way to 01.
If you want to play this game, make sure your lungs are healthy enough to tolerate the pressure. Normally in this game, the players suck in air through a straw, and a chocolate bean sticks to straw. The player then brings the bean to his hand. But now, the player has to blow air and push the beans away from him. The one with farthest beans win.
Read and Act
In this game, people with good drama skills, read out a scene written on a piece of paper by a friend and act it. But now, it will be reversed. The players have to act, and their friends have to write the scene.
Two truths and a lie
This is quite an interesting game. It ignites curiosity in people and appears more attentive. Normally, in this game, a person has to tell two truths and a lie about himself and others have to guess which is truth and which a lie is. But now, the game comes with a twist. A person will tell one truth, and two lies and others have to guess which is wrong.
Backward Day Books
The Backward Day by Ruth Krauss
This book is an engaging and humorous piece of excellent literature. It is simply about a backward day, from beginning your day to ending it doing everything backward. Everything from dressing to eating and carrying out other household chores is backward. How would it be to spend a day in reverse?
Fancy Nancy: It’s a Backward Day! By Jane O’Connor
This book is another refreshing book which revolves around the backward Day. It is about a girl, Nancy, who has to celebrate Backward Day at her school. She sees everyone dressed up accordingly for some occasion. In the beginning, she is clueless. She doesn’t know what is happening until someone tells her that it is Backward Day.
Now, Nancy is on her way to celebrate this day with her schoolmates and teachers. Her teacher, Miss Glass, has run out of backward ideas for making this day fun filled. Meanwhile, Nancy comes up with awesome ideas for the celebration.
This book is suggested for age groups of young ones. It gives a humorous story to children and also scratches mind that how is it all happening. Why is everything backward? Both children and adults find this book very entertaining. Readers usually laugh out loud as they proceed.
Brunhilda’s Backward Day by Shawna J.C. Tenny
Another interesting book for those who love to keep turning pages. This book is a witch who causes a lot of troubles. One day she found out that everything has been reversed. How she manages to spend her day like this? Colorful illustrations and a cheerful story with strong message make it stands out.
Tell me the Day Backwards by Albert Lamb
This story is about a cute bear family in which Timmy bear tells everything to his mother in reverse order about his day. As the name shows, it is an account of day where everything is narrated backward. It is a good bedtime story. Even parents and babysitters find it very good as it provides them a chance to engage the child in their daily routine.
Backwards day by S. Bear Bergman
This book puts everyone into curiosity as it is about a girl on Planet Tenalp who wants to find out that why she didn’t turn into a boy on Backward Day. This is a mystery book for young ones which keeps them engaged until the end.
The National Backwards day is fun, and everyone is encouraged to participate. It is a day to break from the norm and approach all things from a different angle. Ensure you enjoy the day with your family and friends.
If you need help spelling a word or sentence backwards you can always check out our backward text generator tool to reverse text.