Memento Mori “Remember You Die” Day, observed on January 3 every year, is one of the few days we celebrate life through looming death. The subject of life and death is not something many people want to talk about, but that makes this day so meaningful. It forces people to come out of their comfort zones, think about their time on the earth and what’s left of it, and consider making a change to be more hands-on with their future. It can be argued that we are only truly living life as soon as we realize that it is fleeting, and through this concept, we start living with direction and drive.
History of Memento Mori "Remember You Die" Day
Memento Mori “Remember You Die” Day, is a day where people reflect on their mortality and the amount of time they have left to live. They consider their past, present, and future, and for many, the end is full of great excitement if they choose to live life to the fullest, knowing that they will no longer be here one day. The concept of ‘Memento Mori’ is very similar to the notion of “all men must die” as heard in the H.B.O. mega-hit “Game of Thrones” and does give you a sense of drive and inspiration something not necessarily associated with death.
In observing the day, we emphasize should be on the importance of the afterlife because earthly life is fleeting and full of doubt that keeps many people from fully experiencing life. Greek philosophers like Plato and Socrates spent their lives finding meaning and, through their work and many conversations and lessons around death and the importance of life, came to the conclusion that life, after all, comes to an end, and we must do what we can until we are no longer able to. It is a notion that has stood the test of time through centuries.
There is no factual or official establishing of the day, and no writings can be found with proof of who exactly created this day. Still, somehow we celebrate it every year with great enthusiasm and inspiration.
Memento Mori "Remember You Die" Day timeline
Memento Mori becomes the salutation used by the Hermits of St. Paul of France — the name is used when referring to congregations under Paul of Thebes.
The words ‘Memento Mori’ is found on a gravestone in Edinburgh in St. Cuthbert's Churchyard.
The novel “Memento Mori,” written by Scottish author, Muriel Spark, is published by Macmillan.
Dr. Dean Cantú presents his now-infamous TEDx Talk titled “Memento Mori: the personification of Death” at the University of Tulsa.
Fashion brand, Gucci, showcases their Gucci Cruise collection inspired by the concept of Memento Mori and held in a graveyard in France.
Memento Mori "Remember You Die" Day FAQs
Who popularized Memento Mori?
Memento Mori is believed to have originated from an ancient Roman tradition.
Is there a symbol for Memento Mori?
The basic representation is a skull.
Is Memento Mori mentioned in the Bible?
“In all thy works be mindful of thy last end, and thou wilt never sin;” is a Biblical injunction often associated with the Memento Mori.
Memento Mori "Remember You Die" Day Activities
This day is all about appreciating life. So, spending time with family and friends, going out and meeting new people, trying new things like bungee jumping, and crossing items off your bucket list are all fun ways to celebrate life.
Visit an art gallery
Memento Mori inspired a massive art movement and led to some of the most macabre, gothic works of art in history. Visiting your nearest art gallery or museum is a great way to mark the day.
Read a gothic novel
Spend some time finding the perfect book. Preferably one that speaks to life and death, written by a respected author, and that carries some historical weight.
5 Important Depictions Of Death In Art
The Death of Socrates
Written by Jacques Louis David, the book depicts Socrates — who was an early believer of Memento Mori — being executed for introducing strange gods and corrupting Athens' youth.
Christ of Saint John of the Cross
Spanish painter — Salvador Dali, was inspired by a dream in which he saw the exact image of Christ in colors as depicted in this painting.
Oath of the Horatii
Written by Jacques Louis David, the tale tells of a dispute between the warring cities of Roman and Alba Longa.
The Menaced Assassin
The painting by René Magritte depicts a nude woman’s body lying on a couch covered in blood while three assassins are about to leave the room.
Inspired by the events of World War I, this painting by Max Ernst depicts a monstrous unrealistic airplane with human hands flying over a field.
Why We Love Memento Mori "Remember You Die" Day
It is a new lease on life
Many people celebrate this important day filled with deep and meaningful conversation. The biggest lesson we can learn from it is that there is always more to life.
We remember those we have lost
We get to look at those we have lost. We can honor what others have done with their lives.
Its a day for artistic inspiration
Art is one of the most fundamental ways history can be preserved. We draw great inspiration from a day like today.
Memento Mori "Remember You Die" Day dates