Star Wars Day: What to do on May 4 (and why)

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"May the 4th be with you" went from a pun to a hashtag to a holiday

Fans celebrate the day worldwide in a number of ways

CNN  — 

It’s not just a pun.

“May the 4th be with you” is a full-fledged unofficial holiday, “Star Wars Day.”

Actually, as far as Lucasfilm and Disney are concerned, it’s quite official.

So why this day, and what is there to do other than watch it trend on Twitter? (After all, it’s apparently important enough to send hardcore fans into a tizzy when they feel it’s been mistreated.)

As legend has it, and according to the origin story recognized by Lucasfilm, the phrase was first used on May 4, 1979, the day Margaret Thatcher took office as UK prime minister. The Conservative party allegedly placed an ad in the London Evening News which read, “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.”

It took off in the social media age (where it has become a big deal every year) and finally expanded to real-life with events in Toronto. Now, there are events celebrating the day worldwide.

There are online and in-store deals on “Star Warsmerchandise and gaming, “Star Wars” food galore and events where fans are encouraged to dress up or play “Star Wars” trivia or just enjoy their favorite film franchise.

Most of the family-friendly events happpened over the weekend, but here are five things you can do on Star Wars Day:

1) Get out your stormtrooper costume and cosplay with your friends

Toronto’s Smiling Buddha – where Star Wars Day revelry began – offers music, performances and the chance to “cosplay as your favorite characters while being surrounded by other fans in the most wretched hive of scum and villainy.” See if there’s one in your neck of the woods.

2) Watch the movies with an adult beverage (or not)

Atlanta’s Battle and Brew bar offers “Star Wars” movies and a themed drink. What more can you ask from a bar targeting the nerd crowd? If there are no showings in your town, why not host your own?

‘Star Wars:’ Revenge of the myth

3) Cosplay competitively

‘Star Wars:’ Revenge of the myth

UNICEF and Lucasfilm/Disney have joined forces with a wearable power band that allows fans, young and old, to get moving and help children in need around the world.

5) Stay at home and throw your own party

The ever-creative and ever-geeky has more “Star Wars” themed sweets than you can swing a lightsaber at.

CNN’s Anika Myers Palm contributed to this report.