Mad Hatter's Day
“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly. “I've had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone: “so I can't take more.” ~ A Mad Tea Party, Chapter 7, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, 1865
With a tartan that breaks all the rules of color and symmetry, feel free to be as mad as a hatter on this day, named for the Sir John Tenniel illustrations of the Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, showing his hat with pricing of 10/6, ten shillings and sixpence. The phrase "mad as a hatter" pre-dates Carroll's works. Mercury was used in the manufacturing of felt hats during the 19th century, causing a high rate of mercury poisoning in those working in the hat industry. Mercury poisoning causes neurological damage, including slurred speech, memory loss, and tremors, which led to the phrase "mad as a hatter".
“A very merry unbirthday to you!"
Mad Hatter Day is celebrated each year on October 6 because the Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland wears a top hat labeled “In this style 10/6” in the book's original illustrations, pricing his at pre-decimal British money as ten shillings and six pence (or half a guinea). This day is also six months from April Fools' Day, the first silly holiday of the year.
Most likely it's your unbirthday and the perfect day for a mad tea party.
Although this iconic character is very often referred to as the Mad Hatter, this term was never actually used by Carroll in the Alice books. However, the phrase "mad as a hatter" pre-dates Carroll's works, and both The Hatter and the March Hare are referred to as "both mad" by the Cheshire Cat.
"Mad as a hatter" is a colloquial English phrase used in conversation to suggest (lightheartedly) that a person is suffering from insanity. It is believed to emanate from Denton, Tameside in the North of England where men in the area predominantly worked in the hattery business which used mercury in the hat making process. Mercury poisoning causes symptoms similar to madness and death often occurred with the accumulation of mercury in the body.
One of several tartans designed by Carol A.L. Martin for an Alice in Wonderland theme, this tartan contains crazy colours, intentionally asymmetrical. This dizzy-making tartan may remind you of the namesake spinning tea cup ride at the Disneyland theme parks inspired by the Unbirthday Party The ride has gained infamy over the years for the number of guests who get motion sickness as a result of the spinning component to the ride!
For the entire tea party scene from the story, click the classic illustration above which begins ...
"There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and the talking over its head. `Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,' thought Alice; `only, as it's asleep, I suppose it doesn't mind.'
And for a list of Alice in Wonderland themed restaurants around the world should you decide to have your own mad tea party at one of these fine establishments, click the tea party.
Be sure to ponder the riddle posed at the tea party: "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" while you enjoy your tea.