annually on March 9th
The creators of this holiday describe the day by saying that would-be celebrants should "Run around all day in a panic, telling others you can't handle it anymore," and add that the holiday is "co-sponsored by the Sky is Falling Committee." They give little other information on the holiday beyond a few more suggestions on how to celebrate. It seems the holiday is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but at the same time, if people have real panic inside of them, it is the perfect day to let it be known.
Panic is a sudden feeling of fear, which is strong enough to have the ability to overtake reason and logical thinking. The fear is not always justified, and it is possible that something normal may be perceived in a catastrophic way. Not only can an individual panic, but panic can appear within large groups as well. This form of panic may spread from an individual to a group, and the whole group may act irrationally. There are different variations of this phenomenon, such as mass panic, mass hysteria, mass psychosis, and mass contagion. Mass panic can be mollified by disciplined thinking and training, such as being well versed in disaster drills.
In Greek mythology, Pan was the god of pastures, woods, and shepherds. According to legend, Pan would wander around the woods playing a pipe and would take a noontime nap. If he was suddenly awakened during his nap, he would shout and the flocks of the shepherds would stampede. The Greek word panikos, which means sudden fear, stems from this, and from there came "panic."
How to Observe Panic Day
Have you found yourself in a panic a lot recently, but been hesitant to let anyone know about it? Today is for letting it all out! The creators of the day encourage celebrants to loudly proclaim that they are in a panic and to yell things such as "I'm stressed, I'm stressed and I can't take it anymore." They say megaphones can be used but encourage strong lung power instead. They also suggest requesting a sound proof, padded room from one's employer, so the option is available to celebrate the day discreetly, while still letting the panicked feelings out.