Plan Your Epitaph Day

Plan Your Epitaph Day is observed next on Thursday, April 6th, 2023 (58 days from today).

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Plan your Epitaph Day is an oddly fun holiday celebrated on April 6 every year. Dates are allotted for planning your inscription to be made on your mausoleum or a grave after being buried. Everyone or everything born into this world must die one day, so keep that fact in mind for planning your epitaph. This day need not be a day of sadness or grief; you can take a moment to figure out what you want to say to the world when you're gone. There are many strange inscriptions on tombstones in history. So make sure your text is unique, thought-provoking, and speaks to your heart. Not many people can plan their epitaph, so take some time to plan yours before it's too late.

History of Plan Your Epitaph Day

Your epitaph will be forever remembered about you, even to those who have never known you. There have been a number of great epitaphs written, forever etched on stone slabs standing in cemeteries, ancient and recent. Some of them are tongue in cheek, like the last words of a Johnny Yeast. “Johnny Yeast lied here, forgive me for not getting up”, while the others represent the achievements of those who are now resting. A Ludolph van Ceulen engraved the first 35 digits of Pi on his tombstone, as he was the first to calculate this delicious-sounding number for multiple decimals.

The nature of a person's Epitaph, and its contents, should be carefully considered. It will stay with you for as long as you’re stone lasts, and can serve as a warning to those walking down the path to death's door behind you. Consider such epithets as “My friend, consider as you pass by: As you are now, I used to be. As I am now, so will you. Therefore, be prepared to follow me.” Found on an old Scottish tombstone.

Plan Your Epitaph Day is said to have been created by Lance Hardie in 1995. Hardie's aim is to ensure that one person has control over the planning of their epitaphs. Those are some of the important words to tell others about the person lying in the grave, he said. This day can be very exciting when planning our last words with some of our partners.

How to celebrate the day

Some activities you can do to celebrate this day, is to go to the cemetery and seek inspiration from the stones of the deceased. Tombstones have been a favorite of the past for a long time, and here's one more way to collect Epistles that have been written to help inspire you to write yours! A particularly nifty part of this is that tombstones can reveal nearly unreadable epitaphs. To participate, you need nothing but a piece of paper and a piece of charcoal. You put the paper on the surface of the tombstone, rub it with charcoal. It will create a replica of anything carved in stone that you can take away!

Another thing you can do to celebrate this past is organize picnics at the graveyard with like-minded friends. Together, you can sit and think about what you want your last words to the world. If you're one of the lucky people who live near a cemetery, where the world's great poets and authors are buried, you can find inspiration in their last verse.

Plan your own Epitaph day as a day to reflect on our own mortality and think about the kind of legacy we want to leave behind for those who come after us. While we will live in the minds of our family and friends, our human story will only be told to strangers in our final message to the world, engraved on our marble stele. So take a moment to think about where you've been, what you've done, and what you'd like to say to latecomers, and start taking steps to make sure your Epitaph is worth reading!


Plan Your Epitaph Day has been observed annually on April 6th.


Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

Wednesday, April 6th, 2022

Thursday, April 6th, 2023

Saturday, April 6th, 2024

Sunday, April 6th, 2025

Also on Thursday, April 6th, 2023

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