I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date!White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland film, 1951
Fans of the amazingly wonderful fantasy characters of Lewis Carroll will love learning about and celebrating Alice in Wonderland Day!
History of Alice in Wonderland Day
Born in Cheshire, England as Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, this author was a mathematician who published children’s novels and nonsense verse under his famous pseudonym, Lewis Carroll. The first book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, was published in 1865 and then next, Through the Looking Glass, followed in 1871.
The first book was originally told orally as a story to Alice Liddell, the middle daughter of Dean Henry Liddell, who was a close friend of the author. Ten-year-old Alice begged him to write it down, which resulted in an original, handwritten copy given to the girl in 1964, with the title Alice’s Adventures in Under Ground, which is now held in the British Library.
The stories feature a young girl named Alice, around 7 years old, who goes on a wondrous adventure that is accessed by falling through a rabbit hole and then imbibing the contents of a bottle that says “Drink Me”. At the end of the book, little Alice herself reveals that all of her adventures were likely part of a dream.
This type of literary nonsense and fantasy was just what children were longing for at this time during Victorian England, and Lewis Carroll’s work became very popular. It has been translated into 170 languages and has sold more than 100 million copies.
The 150th anniversary of the first publication of the story was in 2015, and that was the first time Alice in Wonderland Day was celebrated. It was chosen for July 4, because that is the day that Lewis Carroll originally told the story to Alice Liddell before ever writing it down.
With its unique symbolism and downright fun, Alice in Wonderland Day is a celebration of everything that has to do with one little girl’s big adventures that have impacted millions of children and adults for more than 150 years.
Alice in Wonderland Day Timeline
Alice in Wonderland author is born
Born as Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (pseudonym Lewis Carroll), the author grows up in a large family that enjoys putting on plays and composing magazines.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is published
Written by a mathematician, these fantastical stories will become one of the most popular works of fiction in the English language.
Through the Looking Glass is published
The sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has Alice climbing through a mirror to a world she can see beyond.
Disney’s Alice in Wonderland film is released
Turned into an animated, musical fantasy comedy, the book and its sequel come to life on the big screen for the first time.
Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland film is released
This film combines live action with animation, and stars big names like Anne Hathaway, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.
How to Celebrate Alice in Wonderland Day
A wide range of creative and fantastical ways can be found to celebrate and enjoy Alice in Wonderland Day. Try out some of these ideas or come up with some delightfully unique and “curiouser” ways of your own:
Host an Alice in Wonderland Day Party
For those madly in love with all of the characters and fantasy from Alice’s world of Wonderland, this would be the ideal to gather friends and family for a party! Perhaps, along the theme of the book, make it a tea party, complete with tea in dainty teapots as well as cookies, biscuits, crumpets and jam.
Invite guests to dress up as their favorite Alice in Wonderland character, whether from the books or from the films. Choose from the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, or even Alice herself. Don’t forget to play the soundtracks from the films as background music!
Decorating for an Alice in Wonderland Day party can be loads of fun, incorporating all sorts of themes from the book. Try using playing cards, clocks, keys, white rabbits, pink flamingos and bottles labeled “Drink Me”. Fun messages from the books and films can be lettered onto signs to colorful hang around the room, including “I’m Late”, “Down the Rabbit Hole”, or “Curiouser and Curiouser”.
For entertainment, allow the guests to act out scenes from the books, or those who are less interactive might want to watch one of the films together. Even better, ask a person with a stellar reading voice to read a chapter from one of the original books for everyone to listen.
Bake Some Alice-Themed Treats
Delight in celebrating Alice in Wonderland Day by unleashing that creativity in the kitchen. Bake cupcakes and decorated them with faces of the characters, like the White Rabbit, Alice with her blonde hair, the Red Queen of Hearts, Cheshire Cat or the Mad Hatter.
Or choose to make sugar cookies and frost them with different themes and messages from the books and films. In honor of the day, be sure to share the treats with friends, neighbors or coworkers, allowing them to join in on the fun and celebration.
Read Lewis Carroll’s Novels
Even though they were published more than 150 years ago, these classic books were ahead of their time and continue to delight readers. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are both accessible in bookshops almost anywhere. In addition, they can also be read through online sources like Kindle or Project Gutenberg.
Watch the Alice in Wonderland Movies
In addition to a variety of television shows and movies, plays, and even a ballet, the Alice in Wonderland stories have been turned into three films by Disney. Alice in Wonderland Day would, of course, be the perfect time to have a movie marathon that includes watching all three! They are:
- Alice in Wonderland (1951). One of the more classic Disney animated films, this musical fantasy comedy was the thirteenth of Disney’s animated feature films to be released. It features characters like the Cheshire Cat, The Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and even the talking doorknob.
- Alice in Wonderland (2010). Taking things in a much darker direction, Tim Burton’s version of this story picks up as a sort of a continuation when Alice is 19. An all-star cast including Johnny Depp (Mad Hatter), Mia Wasikowska (Alice), Anne Hathaway (the White Queen), Michael Sheen (the White Rabbit) and Helena Bonham Carter (the Red Queen of Hearts) makes it into something even more special.
- Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016). The sequel to the 2010 film this one has a similar cast, with additions like Sacha Baron Cohen playing Time and Rhys Ifans as Zanik Hightopp. The story continues as Alice slips through a mirror to find herself back in Underland with some familiar friends and other new characters.
Alice in Wonderland Day FAQs
When was Alice in Wonderland written?
The story, titled Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, was first published in 1865.
How many Alice in Wonderland movies are there?
Disney has released three Alice in Wonderland movies. The first was the fully animated film in 1951. The second is a live action/animated sequel film released in 2010, and the third sequel was released in 2016.
How old is Alice in Wonderland?
The character Alice, from the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is just 7 years old.
Was Alice in Wonderland a dream?
Author Lewis Carroll told the story of a little girl’s unique and strange adventures, which are later revealed to be a dream.
What is Alice in Wonderland Syndrome?
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AIWS) is an uncommon disorder in which the person has strange distortions in body image, visual perceptions, and even the experience of time.