Star Trek is a worldwide entertainment phenomenon that encompasses not only hundreds of hours of television. But also countless books, movies, and games. It should come as no surprise that Star Trek also has its own holiday, its First Contact Day.
Below are a few of the most important things you need to know about Star Trek’s First Contact Day.
1. It’s a Big Deal in Star Trek
There are not a lot of celebrations in Star Trek fandom. Most dates in the show have ‘Stardates’ rather than dates on the Gregorian Calendar. As a result, First Contact Day is not only a big deal within the fiction of the universe. It’s also one of the very few official canonical holidays that fans call their own.
2. It Celebrates the First Contact
As you might imagine, this holiday takes its name from the concept of the first contact between two species in the Star Trek universe. The holiday commemorates the first meeting between the humans of Earth and the Vulcan species, which is an integral part of the Star Trek mythos.
3. It Also Celebrates a Technological Achievement
First Contact Day is more than just a day to celebrate the meeting of the humans and the Vulcans, though. It is also a day to commemorate the first flight of the Phoenix, the first human ship to break the warp speed barrier. This not only established humans as technological power, but it was their first step into a wider world.
4. It Takes Place in the Future
Unlike most holidays, this one celebrates something that takes place far in the future. In fact, it won’t occur for another forty-three years, according to the fiction of Star Trek. Despite the future date, though, it’s still become something of a phenomenon.
5. It was First Seen in the Movies
Though Star Trek is a long-running television franchise, the actual first contact between humans and Vulcans was first seen on the big screen. Sure, you’ll see mentions of it in the 1960s Original Series. Both how and where it occurred wouldn’t be canonized until 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact.
6. It is Established in Voyager
While you’ll see the First Contact itself in the eponymous film, the actual celebration of the holiday wouldn’t come for another five years. First Contact Day made its debut in the Star Trek Voyager episode Homestead as a holiday in the universe of the show. The episode positions the holiday as a civic occasion, similar to the 4th of July or Memorial Day in the present-day United States.
7. It Falls on April 5th
First Contact is one of the exceedingly few events in the Star Trek canon that takes place on a date that’s easily translated to real-world time.
8. It is Celebrated in the Real World
Star Trek fans across the world celebrate the First Contact Day as a special holiday. You may notice many related content releases in Star Trek games.
9. Celebrations Are Relatively New
Although the First Contact is an essential day in the Star Trek universe, actually having a solid date for the event is a relatively recent development. Since fans don’t know its precise date until 1996, Star Trek fandom actually went about thirty years without a solid date. Even the idea of celebrating the event didn’t happen until 2001!
First Contact Day is an essential fictional holiday, and many Star Trek fans across the globe actually celebrate it. A celebration of exploration and friendship, First Contact Day continues to promote the spirit of Star Trek both in the real world and beyond.