The Glorious Revolution in Discworld is on the same day as Towel Day.

Of all proposed dates [for Towel Day], the 25th of May turned out to be the one that gained a significant following. And over time it has acquired a certain status as a geek holiday.

Night Watch (2002), which features the Glorious Revolution was written a year after Adam's passing (2001).

Did Pratchett ever imply this was deliberate? I know they knew each other.

  • 1
    What do you mean "on the same day"? Towel Day is an annual event, and Discworld doesn't even have the same length of year as Earth does.
    – b_jonas
    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:41
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    @b_jonas so? It's the same date, even if the two calendars don't always/ever match up.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jul 18, 2016 at 9:45
  • There's a quote on the discworld wiki page for the Glorious 25th of May that I'm very fond of: "May 25th is also national Geek Pride Day and Towel Day, a day in honour of Douglas Adams. This has led to some fans having to choose between the two, until someone came up with the lilac towel." Jan 20, 2022 at 20:52

3 Answers 3

Every year I am asked why today. Well, I shall tell you a secret; the date came first and the lilac second. Terry asked me to find the one day in the year that would cause least offence and after much pondering & historical research I settled on May 25th; Paul Weller’s birthday.

— Terry Pratchett 🖤 🤍 (@terryandrob) May 25, 2020

It think it only became set on the 25 of May after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. In the book themselves the date is never mentioned and, in fact, no flat-world dates or years are used.

The date is not publicly known as it was one of those revolutions where everybody likes to pretend in the aftermath that it never happened, with many new Watchmen uncertain of its relevance to the point that one new recruit tried wearing lilac only to be sharply criticised by Fred Colon.


I believe that when Pratchett adopted the Lilac for raising funds for Alzheimer's research that is worn on the 24 of May.

This mention has led, since Terry Pratchett's embuggerance to the flower's adoption as the symbol of support for Alzheimer's research fundraising.

Terry Pratchett made a donation of $1 million to the Alzheimer's Research Trust and has begun campaigning for more research and awareness. "Match It For Pratchett" [now gone, Wayback Machine link] was begun by fans in 2008 to match his donation of $1 million dollars by selling bunches of fake lilacs, as well as stamps, jewellery and even towels (to tie in to Towel Day, which is also on May 25th). The original site is gone, but Wear the Lilac day is alive and well!

This site mentions Towel Day:

Following Terry's announcement about Alzheimer, calls have been made to wear lilac on the 25th of May as a tribute, and to raise money for Alzheimer research.


So it would seem that the date to wear a lilac in support of Alzheimer's has been taken as the date of the Glorious Revolution by all but... as far as I know there is not date in the book.

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    In the book them selves the date is never mentioned and in fact no flat world dates or years are used The glorious 25th of May certainly is mentioned in the book, at least in my Kindle edition, when Vimes is talking with Sweeper. Earlier in the book, the date is mentioned when a constable tries to get Colon to say where he's going. "anyone important enough to ask where we're going knows where we've gone"
    – Jaloopa
    Jan 25, 2021 at 9:52
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    My HarperTorch paperback agrees with @Jaloopa: the 25th of May is clearly noted on pp. 16 and 80, possibly among others. I think it dates to 2006 or 2007 but I don't recall exactly.
    – Cadence
    Jan 26, 2021 at 0:52
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    I can confirm that the 25th of May is given as the date on page 13 of my hardcover first edition of Night Watch from 2002.
    – jwodder
    Jan 20, 2022 at 18:00

The events in Nightwatch refers directly to the Portugese Revolução dos Cravos (Carnation revolution) That happend the 25th of april.

I have no idea why moving the date form april to may, but if I have to chose, it would be related to the Revolución de Mayo that is recored to have been started... the 25th of may 1810.

So no Douglas Adams reference for me. Only historical ones.

As for the book reference - Corgi paperback edition, page 28

'You know what day it is, Ping?' said Colon.
'Er... twenty-fifth of may, sarge.'

  • That's a good connection! Is your only link that they both involve flowers? I can definitely see that as being a link TP might make.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jan 26, 2021 at 9:28
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    aditionals links : the duration of the revolution (1 day), the low amount of death (4 in real life), the only opposition being the political police
    – dna
    Jan 26, 2021 at 18:44

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