Celebrating National Hat Day 2021

Celebrating National Hat Day with Jean-Jacques Fournier with his poem, The Gift of a Day.

January 15th is National Hat Day, an unofficial holiday that celebrates one of the most essential accessories invented centuries ago.  The Egyptians sported sassy headgear, along with the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Even Frederick the Great had something to say about hats when he remarked, “A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.”

I did not know that the Fedora was originally a woman’s hat. Nor did I know that “hatters” and “milliners” were not the same, although both made hats. Traditionally, hats for women were made by milliners and hats for men were made by hatters.

Hats keep us warm in winter’s chill and cool in summer’s heat. Hats shield us in spring rains, and protects us in autumn winds. From sun hats, berets, beanies, baseball caps to graduation mortarboards, hats give us a reason to celebrate.

The Gift Of A Day ”
– to live as tho a lifetim
e –

Was yet another guide,
For what I am to live…

I am alive since now,
To live as tho a lifetime
This and every day…

Will only be,
Of consequence
When I am there,
As I’ve no time
For what may never be…

The gift of a day
Be another morrow,
I am alive again
Since now,
For yet another
And find to choose
I am to live this day
And those that follow
As though they be a lifetime!

written in Montréal© Jean-Jacques FournierSeptember 17, 1988, the day of my birthday,alas not my birthyear!

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

22 thoughts on “Celebrating National Hat Day 2021

  1. One of my favourite quotes is by Annie Dillard: “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Jean-Jacque’s beautiful poem adds a shimmering aura to the essential idea that we must be mindful of, and grateful for, each day. I have played your lovely video several mornings in a row – perhaps you could come and recite poetry to me every day please, surely not too much to ask…?!? You look radiant in your gorgeous hat. 😘💕

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    1. Oh Liz, you are the best of friends. Thank you so much for the Annie Dillard quote for that is exactly what I have been reflecting upon these past months. What I have learned is to reclaim my time by not allowing outward stimuli to clutter my thoughts. Instead, I am focused on creativity, giving energy to what gives me joy, connecting in ways that are life-affirming. I follow the current events with a new appreciation of my responses. We live in difficult and uncertain times. When I look back, I want to remember that I chose positive outcomes. As our dear Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer) says, Be Kind, Be calm. Be safe. Sending many hugs and love across the pond.

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      1. It is a constant task, isn’t it, to reassess, readjust and set off again. Creativity is a foundational value for me, as I know it is for you too. It has a wonderful habit of flexing to circumstances, which is always helpful, particularly in these challenging times. Sending all our love back xxx

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  2. I do love this poem of Jean-Jacques’s. There is a gentle serenity about it that I really appreciate. Right now, I don’t need the pressure of someone screaming “Carpe Diem!” in my face. I had no idea that it was National Hat Day yesterday. If I’d known, I would have worn my sock monkey hat to mark the occasion; it has ears. Your hat with the ribbon band and rosettes is most fetching!

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    1. I love hats and gloves because there give me a sense of celebration. Sock monkey hats are more than a brilliant fashion statement (and I’m certain that you would look amazing wearing yours) I had to go back to find out the origin of this hat because it reminds me of the sock monkey doll that my grandmother made for me. As I suspected, the sock hat comes from the sock monkey doll which originated in Victorian times. I am always amazed how one idea leads to another and another. So why the iteration of the popular sock monkey hat? The answer was indeed heartening. I understand that sock monkeys are said to be good luck charms. People give sock monkey hats as gifts, especially to patients in hospitals as a symbol of a quick recovery. I love our conversations, Liz!

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  3. Hats in the time of the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians–so they are nothing new! ! I remember when I was very young that women did not go to church without a hat and gloves or anyplace else of importance. So, besides being items of style they are important for warmth (those snows we hope to see a bit of later in the winter). Hats have taken many different style though the years. I like yours, it even has a couple of flowers on its side. I enjoyed your reading of the poem, too. Very nice! Thank you for this very fun message! !

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    1. Do you remember wearing earmuffs? I have often wondered why hats have gone out of fashion over the years. They do keep you warm. I just read a great article on NPR that believes that with the emergence of car travel, hats lost their popularity. https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/2012/05/04/152011840/who-killed-mens-hats-think-of-a-three-letter-word-beginning-with-i.
      But I also checked out the fashion for 2020 and hats are making a comeback. So I am thinking of looking for a Fedora. This poem is one of my favorites, but I have a great many Jean-Jacques Fournier poetry favourites!

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      1. Yes, I remember the earmuffs! I could never get them to stay where I wanted them. I think hats were more an item of fashion than anything else. When we walked to school hats didn’t keep us warm enough, we used thick warm wraparounds to keep out heads and ears from freezing!

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    1. Thank you for your heartwarming comments, Dave. Mary Jo’s comment about Melville started me to think of all the hats in literature. Think of Harry Potter’s Sorting Hat, or Gandolf’s Hat in LOTR, Sherlock Holmes Hat, The Mad Hatter’s Hat, Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat and I’m certain there are many more. Oh, how could I forget, Robin Hood’s Hat.

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  4. Lovely hat…lovely poem…lovely recitation!!! Fournier’s poem calls us to treasure each day, and your lively video to don and doff our hats in camaraderie. So much preferred to the present, tense attitude of wanting to go about “knocking people’s hats off,” as Melville’s Ishmael complained. 🙂

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    1. One of my favourite “hat” quotes is by Frank Sinatra: “Cock your hats, angles are attitudes” I have been reading on the idea of mental exhaustion in relation to Covid19. We now realize that any resolution to our current reality will take time. Curtailing the freedom of movement is something that we never considered a possibility. And yet, here we are. I believe that gratitude will be the “key” to unlock our creativity and open new possibilities. Remember Pilgrim trapped by Giant Despair in Doubting Castle (Pilgrims Progress)? I was so happy when the key “promise” opened the dungeon door. I love how books give us something to consider. Grateful to Melville and Bunyan.

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    1. I am enjoying your “meanwhile in Finland” photos. I heard that winter is coming to Vancouver sometime in February. I confess, I miss the snow, so hopefully it will come, even for a day. Thank you for celebrating National Hat Day and all the other 364 (365 on leap years) days of the year with me. Hugs!!!

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