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!


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.

Backwards day

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.

To share the day with others many use the hashtag #backwardday or #nationalbackwardday

Backwards day ideas

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:

Speak Backwards

Things to do on a backward day

  • Write in reverse
  • Walk backwards
  • Talk backwards
  • Draw backwards
  • Play games backwards
Eat Backwards

What to eat on a backward day

  • Dessert first

    Upside down cake

  • Dinner for breakfast, breakfast for dinner

    Breakfast pizza

Dress Backwards

How to dress on a backward day

  • Dress however you want as long as it is backwards :)

Backwards word challenge

In this 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.

Games to play on a Backward Day

  • Musical Chairs: 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.
  • Relay Races: 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.
  • Rope skipping: Don't end up tangling yourself in ropes. Skip backward and make your way around if you can.
  • Ludo: 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.
  • Malteser game: 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.

Backward Day

Celebrate Backward Day with - January 31!