Written by Aniketh Kumar on March 26, 2023
Purple Day is a grassroots celebration that is aimed at raising worldwide awareness of epilepsy, a condition that affects over 65 million people globally. As a neurological condition that causes seizures and often begins in childhood, epilepsy is sometimes misunderstood which can lead to difficulty in social situations. The idea of Purple Day is to provide education to those who don’t understand the condition, as well as for those who have epilepsy to recognize that they are not alone.
Because lavender is the international color for epilepsy and is also a color that symbolizes solitude, it only made sense that purple would be the color of choice for this important day of recognition and awareness!
History of Purple Day
Cassidy Megan, a nine-year-old from Canada, founded Purple Day in 2008 when she was motivated by her own struggle with epilepsy. Cassidy’s efforts were supported by the Epilepsy Association of The Maritimes (EAM) of Canada, as well as the Anita Kaufmann Foundation of New York, and the day eventually became an international event.
In fact, Purple Day’s popularity grew quickly! The celebration in 2009, the second year of its existence, brought at least 100,00 students, 95 workplaces, and 116 politicians out to participate in the day’s festivities.
From there the day simply kept growing. It’s hard to believe that only 10 years later, in 2019, Purple Day had made its way to Disney World! Sponsored by the Epilepsy Foundation of Central Florida, Purple Day shared the magic with many participants. The day’s founder, Cassidy Megan, made a special appearance (wearing a purple evening gown, of course) and became good friends with Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
Now, Purple Day is celebrated on every continent and in over 100 countries, in places such as India, Australia, South Africa, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Of notable importance, however, is the fact that the only nation whose government officially recognizes this day currently is Canada, which was put into effect with the Purple Day Act on June 28, 2012.
How to Celebrate Purple Day
Celebrating this day is not only fun, but is also important in raising awareness for this challenging neurological disorder. Try out these ideas or be creative with others ideas to help the cause:
Obviously, one of the easiest things to do to honor the celebration of Purple Day is to pull something purple out of the closet and put it on. A purple shirt, dress, pants or hat will certainly do the trick. Or try dressing in purple from head to toe!
Consider stepping outside the box with purple eyeshadow, purple face glitter or purple lipstick. For those who are more committed to the cause, purple hair dye could make a huge impact.