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TueJan 31

Hell is Freezing Over Day – January 31, 2023

Hell is Freezing Over Day is celebrated every year on January 31. The Northern Hemisphere experiences a chilling winter during this time period. The original idiom, “When hell freezes over,” actually refers to something that will never happen, but due to the freezing weather, it indeed feels like hell is freezing over.

History of Hell is Freezing Over Day

While we don’t know who created this cold holiday, it must have been someone who finally saw the unthinkable happen.

Hell is Freezing Over Day is derived from the idiom, “When hell freezes over,” which refers to something that’s never going to happen. All of us have used it multiple times in our lives by saying, “I will apologize when hell freezes over,” “I will join the gym when hell freezes over,” or “I will watch a horror movie when hell freezes over,” and so on.

Hell freezing over has also been referenced in popular culture, and is the name of the Eagles album that was released in 1994. In an interview, when one of the band members was asked when they will reunite again, after they announced their break, he said, “When hell freezes over,” implying that a reunion was highly unlikely. They did, however, get back together after a 14-year break and, thus, their second live album was named “Hell Freezes Over.” It was also used in a speech at the United Nations in 1962 by the late Adlai Stevenson ’22.

Hell is Freezing Over Day is particularly relevant in the Northern Hemisphere as this day falls during winter when people are experiencing extremely harsh temperatures. Some places experience temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, which can even cause lakes to freeze completely, streets to be covered in snow, and the strong winds to become unbearable. It literally feels like hell has frozen over during this season.

Hell is Freezing Over Day timeline

20th Century
The Idiom Originates

“Not until hell freezes over” arises as an idiom of improbability.

1962
Hell Freezes Over at the United Nations

Adlai Stevenson '22 uses the idiom in his speech at the United Nations

1980
Don Henley’s Interview

Henley, the band member of Eagles, responds with, “When hell freezes over,” when he is asked when the band will play together again.

1994
Hell Freezes Over Album

The Eagles release their second live album called “Hell Freezes Over.”

Hell is Freezing Over Day FAQs

What does the “hell freezes over” expression mean?

This expression is used when one thinks that something will never happen. For instance, when people say, “I’ll apologize when hell freezes over,” it means they don’t intend to apologize ever.

Who said, “When hell freezes over”?

The late Adlai Stevenson ’22 used the term during his speech at the United Nations.

How else can you say, “When hell freezes over”?

There are many ways of saying it such as; “ghost of a chance,” “chance in a million,” “not a prayer,” “unthinkable,” and so forth.

Hell is Freezing Over Day Activities

  1. Light a bonfire

    Light a bonfire in your backyard or make a fire in your fireplace at home. Gather around with your loved ones and soak up the warmth. You can even make smores and have some great food to go along with it on this day.

  2. Do the unthinkable

    Since this day signifies something that will never happen, you can make it happen instead. Make amends with a friend you thought you never would, take that leap of faith in your professional career, or quit a bad habit you’ve been longing to break.

  3. Host a party

    There are never enough reasons to throw a party. Use Hell is Freezing Over Day and host a party. Have hot foods and beverages on the menu and make provisions for enough blankets so everyone can be cozy and comfortable, and enjoy.

5 Freezing Facts About Hell Is Freezing Over Day

  1. An album name

    The Eagles actually named their second live album “Hell Freezes Over” when they got back together after a decade.

  2. The album

    There are 11 tracks recorded on the “Hell Freezes Over” album by Eagles.

  3. The Divine Comedy

    There is a pictorial depiction of hell freezing in Dante Alighieri's “The Divine Comedy.”

  4. There’s a book

    There is a book by the name “Where Hell Freezes Over: A Story of Amazing Bravery and Survival.”

  5. Frozen hell

    Tibetan Buddhists depict 16 hellish places called Narakas, with eight of them being bitterly cold.

Why We Love Hell is Freezing Over Day

  1. It’s an excuse to cuddle up

    Hell is quite literally freezing over in the Northern Hemisphere on this holiday. It’s a perfect excuse to cuddle up and enjoy a day in bed without feeling guilty.

  2. It lets you make the unthinkable happen

    The expression signifies that something will never happen. This day allows you to change that and do something that you thought you never would. It could be anything, a personal project, or a decision you thought you would never make.

  3. It’s the ideal day to binge hot chocolate

    When you’re freezing, nothing can be better than a steaming cup of hot chocolate. This day is the perfect opportunity to have unlimited mugs of hot chocolate and let the warmth take over on a cold day.

Hell is Freezing Over Day dates

YearDateDay
2022January 31Monday
2023January 31Tuesday
2024January 31Wednesday
2025January 31Friday
2026January 31Saturday

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