December 8 is an opportunity for time travel enthusiasts to pretend that they have traversed the fourth dimension and ended up in 2023. Whether you want to LARP as a mediaeval king, a cyborg from the future, or just your past or future self – tomorrow is your chance.
According to one source, this annual tradition was ‘created in 2007 by the Koala Wallop online community’ (a webcomic collective). Since then, many others have joined in both online and IRL – especially those from adjacent communities, like the Doctor Who fandom. (In fact, this beloved sci-fi series is currently celebrating its 60th anniversary with a trio of special episodes. The final episode will be airing on December 9 – good timing for those who want to celebrate Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day).
You could also celebrate by turning off your phone and picking up a feathered quill, enjoying a candlelit evening, and donning your favourite vintage clothing. Or you could visit your local antique shop or museum, and get nostalgic for things that you’ve never experienced.
If you’re looking for more ideas, this WIRED article from 2007 contains some amusing examples:
‘- Walk up to random people and say "WHAT YEAR IS THIS?" and when they tell you, get quiet and then say "Then there's still time!" and run off.
- Stand in front of a statue (any statue, really), fall to your knees, and yell "NOOOOOOOOO"
- Stare at newspaper headlines and look astonished.
- Take some trinket with you (it can be anything really), hand it to some stranger, along with a phone number and say "In thirty years dial this number. You'll know what to do after that." Then slip away.’
Right now, ‘pretending’ to be a time traveller is as close as you’ll get to the real thing, but where would you go if you could really travel in time? You could go back to the times of myths and legends, back to a time when the cost of living was cheaper, or back to 2009 to have tea with a world-renowned physicist. Or how about travelling forwards? You might end up in a world with AI afterlife options and a cure for the common cold – or find yourself at the greatest party of all time.
57 years ago today, on February 17 1967, The Beatles set out to record one of the most musically complex and avant-garde tracks of their illustrious career – Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!