What Is Chaos Never Dies Day — and How Can It Help You Destress?

“Magnum Chaos,” wood-inlay by Giovan Francesco Capoferri at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo, based on a design by Lorenzo Lotto. Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

There seems to be a sort of unofficial hierarchy when it comes to holidays. At the top, you’ve got your handful of federally recognized holidays, like Christmas Day and Juneteenth. Since federal holidays are often widely observed, banks and other office work-driven businesses also tend to shut down.

Of course, there are also state and local holidays that have some regional flare — think Patriots’ Day in Boston, Massachusetts, for example — and a slew of holidays that we all seem to celebrate socially, like St. Patrick’s Day, but that don’t amount to time off. And, finally, there are those incredibly random “holidays” — ones that gain traction on social media, like National Deviled Egg Day or World Giraffe Day, but don’t necessarily make it onto your calendar.

One of those obscure holidays that falls somewhere between a social media trend and a day (that’s maybe) legitimately tied to celebrations of the past is National Chaos Never Dies Day. Never heard of it? You aren’t alone. Each November 9, folks across the country acknowledge Chaos Never Dies Day, but it remains shrouded in mystery — and not very mainstream. Here, we’re diving into the history of Chaos Never Dies Day and how you can go about marking the occasion.

What Is Chaos Never Dies Day?

When it comes to November holidays, Americans likely think of Thanksgiving or Veteran’s Day first. Of course, there’s also shopping-centric days of note, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as well as international events, such as Guy Fawkes Night, that commemorate more place-specific happenings. 

The ninth day of November is known as World Freedom Day as well as World Orphans Day, both of which raise awareness. But, if you’re looking for something a bit more unruly, you might want to go all in on recognizing National Chaos Never Dies Day this November 9.

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In the true spirit of chaos, the holiday was dubbed National Chaos Never Dies Day despite the fact that it isn’t recognized on a national or federal level. Instead, it seems to hold a special place on many websites’ “National Day” calendars. While there are clearly a modest number of celebrants, we might all stand to benefit from Chaos Never Dies Day, which is centered around embracing life’s havoc.

In other words, it seems to be one of the few holidays that encourages us to openly admit to our feelings and stressors instead of hiding them away. And, instead of promoting calmness and stress relief through moments of peace and quiet, the day suggests that the perfect, peaceful moment doesn’t exist. So, live in the now and embrace that ever-present chaos!

The History of Chaos Never Dies Day — Sort Of

The history of Chaos Never Dies Day is rather murky. No one has actually stepped up to claim this great day as their own creation — quite possibly because their life was too chaotic to go through the pains of achieving notoriety. Regardless, chaos as a concept has always fascinated humans.

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Back in the days of the ancient Greeks, Chaos (or Khaos) was among the first of the beings to ever exist — or rather, not exist. In fact, Khaos wasn’t quite a being or deity, but the original state of things before the universe actually came into being. A kind of void. To paraphrase Ovid, Khaos was a kind of disorganized state of nothingness from which the gods created order and the universe.

Chaos enjoyed a new resurgence in popularity in 1963 when mathematician and meteorologist Edward Lorenz discussed chaos in relation to his theories on the butterfly effect. A few years later, in 1975, James A. Yorke, another mathematician, coined the phrase “chaos theory,” which, according to Britannica, is “the study of apparently random or unpredictable behavior in systems governed by deterministic laws.”

How to “Celebrate” National Chaos Never Dies Day

It’s only fitting that a holiday that’s literally based on complete and utter chaos should have no preconceived forms of celebration. Part of the joy of National Chaos Never Dies Day is that you can do whatever you want — even (and especially) if that means sitting back and watching the chaos play out all around you. At its essence, the holiday is all about realizing that life is often out of your control, but you aren’t alone in that mayhem.

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Nihilistic philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that, “You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” And it was also Nietzsche who most famously proclaimed, “God is dead,” asserting the death of a certain way of thinking, acting, and considering morality. Life isn’t always confined to rules; maybe there isn’t a higher power with a roadmap. Sometimes, things just happen — and those things can be chaotic. If you think on the concept a bit, you might start to realize that chaos itself isn’t the distressing thing. Instead, our objection to it — our innate refusal to accept it — is what causes that angst. 

So, this November 9, why not take a different approach? Instead of trying to remove yourself from the chaos of life or find the calm in the eye of the storm, embrace the chaos. That could mean taking the day off of work. Or cancelling plans with friends. Or accepting that you don’t actually need to control everything. Whatever it may look like for you, sink into the chaos and, perhaps, in the acceptance of life’s disorder, you’ll actually find a different kind of calm.