English literature is awash with great heroes. One of literature’s most venerable heroes is the star of the anonymously-authored Beowulf. This bold Viking set out to save his lord Hrothgar’s people from a vicious monster called Grendel, slew the monster’s mother and her brood of sea serpents.
After these exploits, the author claims that Beowulf participates in the Battle on the Ice of Lake Vanern on the side of Lord Eadgils against the Swedish King Onela.
Beowulf then reigns as King of the Geats for 51 years before a dragon rises to threaten his domain. Taking up his sword and shield once more, great Beowulf set off to challenge the beast. In the end, dragon and hero killed each other.
With the exception of the Lambton Worm and a few other medieval sightings, this was the last Western European dragon. In honor of the beast and the hero, we commemorate May 8 as Last Dragon Day. Why May 8? Well, the Battle on the Ice of Lake Vanern took place around 530 AD. The battle with the dragon took place 51 years later, in 581.
5/8/1. Technically, Last Dragon Day should start at 1pm. But whatever.
It’s simple to celebrate Last Dragon Day. First, you’ll need a cape. Next, a sword. Preferably one that is obviously fake, so you don’t get shot by any overeager cops, soccer moms, or neighborhood watch people. Finally, you’ll need a place where you can consume vast quantities of sausage, steak, meat pies, breads, and (preferably) dark soda*.
The day starts at 1pm with the consumption of a single, whole jalapeño to taste the fire of the beast and honor the dragon. Revelry begins at night. Gather friends for your warrior band and have yourself a heady night of soda*, song, and merry-making!