Thursday is the fifth day of the week. According to other systems, it is the fourth day of the week. Twice a year, at Lancaster, it is actually the sixth day of the week, which, according to the said odd systems, makes it the fifth day of the week. Using poor logic, Thursday is, on average, the fifth day of the week. Which turns out to be true anyway.
According to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Earth is destroyed on a Thursday, and the only survivor from Earth on the day of destruction is one Arthur Dent, who happens to be wearing a dressing gown. He is saved by his friend, Ford Prefect, an alien who knows how to hitchhike throughout the galaxy with his towel, etc. Let's just say that he could never get the hang of Thursdays.
Hence, each Thursday, CTYers at Lancaster wear bathrobes all day, for fear that the world might end. Those who don't have bathrobes carry towels, the most useful item an intergalactic hitchhiker can have. Those who do have bathrobes bring towels anyway. At Lancaster, those who do not wear their bathrobes on are said to be "naked" and are looked down upon as not being hoopy froods who know where their towel is.
CTYers canonically refer to the last (Third) Friday of camp as Thursday since CTY, which is the world, comes to an end on the said day. The last two days are switched at Lancaster (i.e., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Thursday) during the last week. This is also sensible since the dance now occurs on a Friday, and, after all, we cannot have dances on Thursdays. Therefore, the last calendar Thursday is "CTY Friday" and the last calendar Friday is "CTY Thursday".
Some have taken to calling Thursdays "Bathrobe Day"; however, this is rather silly. There is no holiday for bathrobes; it is simply rather difficult at times to get the hang of Thursdays.
Groups of people had worn bathrobes since 1988, but the connection between this and the modern-day tradition is unknown. Possible origins include Keith Broughtan's roommate forgetting he was in the shower and locking him out of the room. Keith therefore had to go to class in his bathrobe. He looked so darn good in his bathrobe (though let's face it... Keith looked darn good in just about anything) that it caught on among his friends and classmates that session (89.1?) Around the same time the Calculus class developed the habit of wearing their bathrobes to class days that it rained. This developed into a short-lived "Beach Day" tradition: When it rained, much of the student body would put on their bathrobes, lay their towels out on the quad and lounge about, much to the health-conscious RA's chagrin. Evil Uncle Walt put a stop to this before the end of the session.
In 1995, Dennis Clark became the first person to wear a bathrobe on Thursday. Dennis had a wonderful Dennis-colored (blue-green) bathrobe that he would wear on Thursdays.
A particularly striking bathrobe story concerns B-B Stern, who attended Lancaster in the late 1990's and early 2000's. B-B apparently wore his bathrobe to school during the rest of the year as well, and the tradition was adopted by a friend of his, Sean Treanor, who had not attended CTY. Sean then continued to wear his bathrobe even after B-B had transferred to a different school. It is unknown whether the bathrobe tradition has spread anywhere else outside of CTY.
--Sammka 21:19, 27 August 2006 (MST)
The biggest hoopy froods wear British bathrobes.
As of 15.1, the wearing of bathrobes and towels on Thursdays is generally done by Alcovians and other perpetrators of CTY culture. It is no longer a tradition widely carried out, but this editor hopes that it will make a revival.
At Carlisle, towels and bathrobes are only worn on second Thursday, called "End of the World Day." This tradition has been native to Carlisle since before 1995. It was originally called "Towel Day" (and thus its origins are contrary to those of Lancaster). Over time, the tradition merged with that of wearing bathrobes. In recent years, however, the tradition has weakened as the Carlislians try to differ in tradition from the Lancasterians, believing the towel/bathrobe tradition to be a cross-over tradition. It has also come into conflict with Goth Day (Second Thursday), which led to an unwanted mitigation of gothiness. In even more recent years, however, Goth Day has been moved to Wednesday in order to memorialize Swine '09.
Thursday is also free high-five Thursday.
In modern times, the only notable Thursday specific tradition at Carlisle is second Thursday, which can best be described as schizophrenic. In recent years, it has been End of the World Day, Purple Day, and Summerween (Halloween in the summer). None of them have stuck as permanent tradition.
On the last Thursday of the session, we reminisce on the past weeks by carrying a towel or bathrobe around. This is because, as aforementioned, the Earth is destroyed on a Thursday in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Arthur Dent only survives through wearing a bathrobe. As our magical world of CTY is ending, we hope to save ourselves through carrying a towel/bathrobe. Spoiler: It never works, and the session always ends anyway. Also known as "End of the World Day".
Last Thursday is known as "End of the World Day," on which it is traditional to wear a towel.
This tradition has also been imported to the Irish CTY, in Dublin. Gains popularity during bad weather (just "weather" in Dublin), as it is an excuse to wear something very warm, and to carry a towel around as an alternative to an umbrella.
The 18.2 Princess and Empress made tradition calendars (calendars that showed spirit days, dances, and major activities like Casino Night) for the whole site, and explained at their activity, CTY Traditions, what Towel Day/End of the World is, and its connection to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. They also recommended that participants sing REM's It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) as loudly as possible.
For those of you who are coming back next year or are at another site: Great Big Sea, a now defunct band from Newfoundland, has made a cover of this song. It's sung very fast, so if you want an extra challenge, I would suggest that you learn it if you want to.
The RAs in AMR 1 Royce also mashed all their halls together into one big hall meeting and explained various traditions, including Towel Day. While this announcement did spread awareness of the tradition, they sounded much more bored than the Royalty had when they'd talked about it.