You’ve heard of Cinco de Mayo — and now you surely have a “Jeopardy!”-worthy level of knowledge about it — but how about Cuatro de Mayo?
Or May 4th. Hang on to your actual or metaphorical light sabers: It’s Star Wars Day. The date in question was chosen because it enables a pun on the immortal Star Wars line “May the force be with you” — may the Fourth be with you.
Weirdly for an all-American film, the May 4 reference originated in United Kingdom. Or so the story goes. May 4, 1979, was Margaret Thatcher’s first day as prime minister. Her political party the Conservatives placed an ad in the London Evening Express newspaper reading: “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.”
The first official celebration of May 4 was in Toronto in 2011. The Toronto Underground Cinema held a film festival and a costume contest. Today, Star Wars fans worldwide gather to celebrate the holiday in person and on social media (with the hashtag #StarWarsDay). Events planned for this year’s celebration include an all-day movie marathon on the cable station TBS, beginning at 6:40am with “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” and ending with an 8:15 showing of “Return of the Jedi.” And there are merch and gaming discounts on StarWars.com.
If you miss May 4, you can celebrate May 5. That’s Return of the Fifth — a commemoration of “Return of the Sith.”