Serendipity is the term for a “happy accident” or a “pleasant surprise.” Thus, Serendipity Day encourages people to look for and notice those unexpected good things that are always out there, if people would just have the eyes to see them.
In fact, the creators of this lovely day believe that serendipity is no accident at all, but an attitude or a lifestyle in which people are always reaching for those unexpected things and expecting happy surprises to occur.
Come along to learn something new and fascinating about Serendipity Day!
History of Serendipity Day
The word serendipity was coined in the mid 1700s by a man named Horace Walpole. In a letter to a friend, he explained how he had created the term from a Persian fairy tale known in English as The Three Princes of Serendip.
The story tells of three princes who were banished from the kingdom of Serendip (another term for Sri Lanka) in order to have a chance to prove their worth. As they wander the world, “serendipitous” moments occur to them time after time, in a rather unbelievable amount. In fact, it is much like many children’s stories in that the characters often just happen to run across the perfect place or the clue to solve the mystery. Or it could be likened to old, corny superhero movies, where they just happen to have the antidote to the problem lying around!
In other words, it seems that Walpole first created the word serendipity as some mild ridicule of these “happy accidents” and now the term is a favorite inspirational line everywhere: “seek serendipity!”
How to Celebrate Serendipity Day
Enjoying this day encourages paying attention to some of the simplest things that could turn into something big. Try these ideas for celebrating this day:
Watch a Film About Serendipity
- Serendipity (2001). Starring John Cusak and Kate Beckinsale, this delightful little romantic comedy tells the story of two people who have a chance meeting in New York City where they end up eating dessert at a cafe (appropriately named “Serendipity”). They fall in love but, in an effort to see where fate will take them, they do not reveal their complete identities, leaving it up to chance whether they will be able to find each other again.
- The Holiday (2006). Spontaneously deciding to participate in a house-swap scheme, two women from across the ocean leave their own lives behind in this adorable rom-com starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. As they explore their new locations, they both find themselves stumbling into accidental friendships that have the potential to be driven by fate.
- Leap Year (2010). One woman’s decision to take advantage of an Irish tradition allowing her to propose to her boyfriend takes her on an unexpected journey of the beautiful country of Ireland, driving her right into the path of a different man. This romantic comedy film stars Amy Adams and Matthew Goode.
- Sleepless in Seattle (1993). This delightful romantic comedy starring 90s hit couple Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan tells the story of a couple whose lives cross in unexpected ways, but they question whether it could actually be love when they have never really met in person.
Visit a Serendipity Cafe
Whether channelling the iconic Serendipity III Cafe in New York City from the film mentioned above, or another one on the other side of the globe, a few different restaurants called Serendipity are in existence, such as these:
- Serendipity III Cafe, New York, USA. Located at 225 E 60th Street, this classic cafe was founded in 1954. In the year 2004, for its 50th anniversary, the restaurant was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for offering the world’s most expensive dessert: a $1000 sundae that was drizzled with 23K gold and the most expensive chocolate on earth.
- My Serendipity Cafe, Melbourne, Australia. Located at Level 7 of the Baker Institute, this cafe offers a delicious breakfast and lunch menu with eggs, toasties, croissants, sandwiches, pasta and much more.
- Serendipity Cafe, Seattle, Washington, USA. This adorable neighborhood cafe at 3222 West McGraw Street offers indoor and outdoor dining with a menu catering to breakfast, sandwiches, burgers and more.
- Serendipity Coffee Company, Horley, London, UK. This delightful cafe located in the direction of Gatwick Airport (23 High Street in Horley) offers breakfast, pastries, baked goods, food and drink options and, of course, coffee!
No matter what activities are done on the day, paying special attention to looking for fate, good fortune and serendipity in real life is the perfect way to pay homage to Serendipity Day.