For those living in the UK, May 4th is a notable day on the calendar as it happens to be a Bank Holiday and a day off work for many. However, the date has wider connotations if you happen to be a fan of the films and iconic franchise that make up "Star Wars". "May the 4th be with you" could be viewed as simply a rather basic play on words, but it has evolved into a day for international celebrations across the world.
It has become an unofficial holiday for those wishing to pay their own homage and respects. Lucasfilm and Disney even seem to have given it the official 'thumbs up'.
Early start in Milan
Fans in Italy started their celebrations early. Cosplayers (people who wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character) could be seen at a special event in Milan yesterday, dressed as the characters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Stormtroopers paraded in the Piazza del Duomo in front of Milan Cathedral.
Photo opportunity in Budapest on May 3rd
Hungary joined with many followers across Europe in marking the day (early). Fans dressed as stormtroopers afforded numerous selfies to be taken by tourists in the capital Budapest.
Celebration day beginnings
Oddly, it seems that the usage of the phrase outside of the film itself traces back to 4th May 1979 and to Britain. Those '
An ad was placed in the London Evening News that read "May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations."
Social media's increasing importance gave the phrase wider notice and ultimately resulted in real events being held in Toronto. It has grown into a worldwide phenomenon in the years afterwards. With Facebook, Twitter and the other networking services facilitating pictures and messages to be shared, Star Wars 'themed' images will no doubt be seen by many over the next few days.
Vanity Fair gets in on the idea
Even Vanity Fair seems to have been caught up by the concept.
Toronto is where it all began and they will revive their party celebrations again this year. The Smiling Buddha dive bar and music venue encourages cosplayers to dress us their favourite character. In return, they will be entertained by live music.
Other major American cities such as Atlanta and Chicago will have their own #Festivities occurring in the clubs and bars. They offer a chance to watch a Star Wars' movie, dress up or imbibe a themed drink.
UNICEF and Lucasfilm/Disney have united to offer a wearable power band, with proceeds helping children in need around the world. #CinemaIt seems that the celebrations for Star Wars Day get bigger every year, as the films' popularity shows no signs of diminishing anytime soon.