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Festival of Latest Novelties

Novelty items usually have no practical purpose or function and are sold because of their uniqueness, the humor they elicit, or because they are something new—or novel. They are often given as gifts. Despite their lack of useful application, they bring people much joy, and we celebrate them today, on the Festival of Latest Novelties.

Novelty items can encompass a wide range of things. They may be souvenirs or items designed for advertising or promotional purposes, or they may be gadgets, collectibles, or office toys. Some sex toys and food items can even be considered to be novelty items. Some items start out as novelty when they are new, but become commonly used and engrained popular culture, such as frisbees or hula hoops.

Pierre Hérigone, a French mathematician and astronomer, is credited with coming up with the first novelty item. In the seventeenth century, he described a goblet that could be used to spy on someone while taking a drink. It had a 45-degree angle mirror, and the images of someone behind the user could be seen on the glass of the cup.

Some of the most popular novelty items of all time are Big Mouth Billy Bass and Groucho glasses. Over 20 million units of Big Mouth Billy Bass—a battery-powered singing largemouth bass—were sold in a 12 month period between 2000 and 2001. Groucho glasses, sold since the 1940s, are designed in the likeness of Groucho Marx, with mustache, nose, and glasses coming in one piece.

How to Observe Festival of Latest Novelties

Celebrate the day with novelty items! You could see how many you have in your home and could go out and buy some new ones as well. Perhaps you could then gather them all together, and have your friends do the same, and have a novelty item festival. You could also pick up a copy of Cheap Laffs: The Art of the Novelty Item, in order to learn more about these items that fascinate us. The following are some of the most popular novelty items, which you could celebrate with today:

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