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Doppelgänger Day

“On a winter night I hear the Easter bell:
I knock on graves and quicken the dead,
Until at last in a grave I see — myself."

~ Vyacheslav Ivanov, Winter Sonnets: XI

Seeing double when you look in the mirror? It's Look-Alike Day, the beginning of Doppelgänger Week! Doppelgänger, German for "double-goer" or "double-walker," is an apparition of oneself, either real or ghostly, though the word is now also used to mean an alter-ego, mirror image, or a gothic twinning. Though meeting one's doppelgänger has usually been thought of as an ill omen in traditional folklore, the word itself is a relatively recent one from a comedic novel written in 1796 by German author Jean Paul called Siebenkäs! Other more sinister doppelgängers in literature include ones in "William Wilson" by Edgar Allen Poe, Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg, and "The Jolly Corner" by Henry James. Nowadays, Doppelgänger week is an amusing internet meme in which users of social networking websites change their profile picture to that of museum portraits, celebrities, athletes, historical figures, or friends with whom they share a physical resemblance. This tartan participates with its own ghostly double pattern. 👥

Doppelgänger Week, the first week of February, starting on Sunday and ending on Saturday, is an internet game whereby users of social networking websites change their profile pictures to that of celebrities, athletes, historical figures, paintings, or friends with whom they share appearance traits. This internet meme started in 2010.

In fiction and folklore, a doppelgänger (literally "double-goer") is a look-alike or double of a living person, sometimes portrayed as a paranormal phenomenon, and in some traditions as a harbinger of bad luck. In other traditions and stories, One's 'double-goer' is an evil twin.

In Norse mythology, a vardøger is a ghostly double who precedes in time the appearance a living person and is seen performing their actions in advance. 


In Breton mythology as well as in Cornish and Norman French folklore, the doppelgänger is a version of the Ankou, a personification of death.

Designed by Carol A.L Martin, this tartan has a ghostly double pattern.

There are many famous accounts of individuals seeing their own doppelgänger.   Click Rossetti's "How They Met Themselves" (1864) for more treatments of the double in literature.

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