January 25 is (not) Opposite Day!


What the opposite of “cracking up?” Awkward silence! (Although in some cases, both can happen at the same time…)

Evelyn Le, Contributor

¡ʎɐp ǝʇᴉsoddO ʎddɐH. Whoops, I mean, Happy Opposite Day! This year on January 25, it will be Opposite Day, a day upside-down and reversed actions, where homework becomes video games and waking up at 6pm instead of 6am becomes the norm for a full 24 hours until the switch flicks off and everything goes back to normal again. Even though Opposite Day just seems like a day made up by bored kids who want to a good reason to cause chaos for one day, did you know there’s more to the history than just that?

Let’s Look at the History

Even though the origins of Opposite Day are vague, some believe that it started in the 1920s when Calvin Coolidge told the press in 1928 said that he did not want to run in the election. This sparked some confusion and some people thought he meant the opposite, which of course he didn’t.

There’s also a little-known moment from Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency that on August 17, 1959, he unofficially declared that this day and only this day would be Opposite Day, on behalf of his granddaughter. It meant to be a fun thing for her, until the president realized that Opposite Day was much too complicated to occur more often. “I didn’t realize that it could be pretty hard to come up with opposites of words. Like what is the opposite of brain? Or, elephant? See, it’s difficult.” (http://rajdesai.tumblr.com).

Other sources state that Opposite Day started as a simple playground game, when children would ask silly questions to each other and receive reversed answers. Although it’s unknown which of these events truly started this fun holiday, some can assume that it was all of these factors that contributed to create the Opposite Day we know and hear of today.

Is Opposite Day Even Possible?

You might be thinking, “Well, if it weren’t, then what’s the point of this article?” You wouldn’t be wrong to question the genuineness of this article, but there’s another thing that exists: The Opposite Day Paradox. A paradox is a statement that contradicts itself. If you think about it, what is the opposite of saying “yes?” That would be “no”. What’s the opposite of saying it’s someone’s birthday? You would say that it’s not somebody’s birthday. If this is the case, then the opposite of saying “It’s Opposite Day” would be “It’s Not Opposite Day.” After all, a rule of Opposite Day is that you are actually contradicting what you say out loud. So, if it is Opposite Day on Opposite Day, it wouldn’t actually be Opposite Day. Confusing indeed.

What Can You Do On Opposite Day?

Rather than ponder on the existence of a day that cannot grammatically exist, let’s just have some fun and list some activities that you can do to celebrate Opposite Day!

1. Eat breakfast food for dinner and dinner food for breakfast.
2. Eat dessert first.
3. Wear pajamas in the day and normal clothes at night.
4. Try to speak in opposite (this one will be harder than you think.)
5. Wear your backpack on the wrong side (If roller backpack, then roll your backpack in front of you.)
6. Call your friends by their last name (if you have multiple friends will the same last name, this one will definitely get confusing.)

Of course, not all things that are done oppositely are fun or full of laughter. Hurting someone is the opposite of helping someone, but that doesn’t mean you should do it. Talking and interrupting when someone else is talking instead of listening is also disrespectful. Then of course, there are other things that are downright cruel and mean, and even if it’s just for one day, you shouldn’t go too far.

Opposite Day is not to be taken seriously, (because if it were, the world would plunge into chaos.) Rather, it is a day of silliness and fun that’s supposed to bring smiles and laughter rather than frowns and tears (of sadness.) Make sure when you do plan something for Opposite Day, tell others about it so that they won’t be too confused or even annoyed. Just like when telling jokes or pranks, don’t make your actions on Opposite Day too extreme, or someone could get hurt. Remember, Opposite Day is just for fun!