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What Is Star Wars Life Day?

Known as the Wookiee celebration of family, joy, and harmony, Star Wars Life Day is November 17 every year. It first appeared in the Star Wars Holiday Special and is loosely based on the American Thanksgiving holiday. Although it does include gift-giving, Life Day is often mistakenly viewed as a substitute for Christmas.

What Is Life Day in Star Wars?

One of the few known holidays in the Star Wars universe, Life Day is the Wookiee celebration of family, joy, and harmony.

Wookiees traditionally celebrated the holiday around the Tree of Life, a giant Wroshyr tree representing the spark of life on Kashyyyk. They decorate the tree with vibrant Life Day orbs and enjoy festivals, holiday feasts, and music.

During the oppression of the Galactic Empire, it spread throughout the galaxy as a symbol of hope. After the Empire fell, it became a celebration of peace and freedom.

When is Life Day?

Life Day is held annually on November 17. This is the anniversary of when the Star Wars Holiday Special originally aired, Friday, November 17, 1978. Some fans mistakenly celebrate on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Here is when you can celebrate Life Day in the coming years:

  • 2023 – Friday, November 17
  • 2024 – Sunday, November 17
  • 2025 – Monday, November 17
  • 2026 – Tuesday, November 17
  • 2027 – Wednesday, November 17

Where Does Life Day Appear in Star Wars?

Once notoriously hard to find, Life Day first appeared in the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. The special only aired once and has never been officially released.

Because George Lucas hated the Holiday Special, Lucasfilm largely ignored the day for many years. The Wookiee holiday was rarely mentioned in the legends timeline and only appeared in canon recently.

It is referenced in several canon books but is first mentioned on-screen in the first episode of The Mandalorian in 2019. In the third and fourth issues of the 2020 comic Star Wars Adventures, Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi celebrate Life Day on Kashyyyk.

The 2021 Life Day Treasure collection tells eight short tales about the holiday, including one about Chewbacca’s family. Also, in 2021, the Marvel one-shot comic Life Day has Han Solo and Chewbacca traveling to Black Spire Outpost for a festive celebration.

So far, the closest thing to a canon Life Day special is The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, released November 17, 2020, on Disney+. While it includes many canon elements, the special is not canon.

The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau has expressed interest in creating a live-action holiday special in the future. However, nothing official has been announced so far.

How Do You Celebrate Life Day?

The best way to celebrate Star Wars Life Day is with friends and family. Many fans host a Wookiee-themed feast complete with Bantha surprise and Joh Blastoh Punch from The Life Day Cookbook.

Like most Star Wars holidays, there is no wrong way to celebrate. You can watch your favorite Star Wars movie, read a Star Wars book or comic, put up festive décor, or catch up with friends.

While fan shops have created merchandise for decades, Disney has recently embraced the celebration. Life Day orbs, Wookiee plushes, and related items were introduced in 2021 and are available in Galaxy’s Edge and throughout the Disney Parks.

Can You Celebrate Life Day in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?

While there is no official Life Day event in Galaxy’s Edge, fans create unofficial events to celebrate the holiday in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Fans often wear red robes, carry Life Day orbs, and gather for photos after the suns go down.

Our Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Discord group organizes lightsaber meetups at Disney World around the holiday. We typically meet on or near November 17th. Occasionally, Chewbacca will celebrate with us.

In 2022, we hosted two events at Walt Disney World in Florida to celebrate Life Day. There was a large lightsaber meetup on Saturday, November 12th inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A Life Day-focused meetup followed on Thursday, November 17th. We were unable to host a Life Day event at Disneyland due to park blackouts and scheduling conflicts with our volunteers and the Disney Parks events team.

For 2023, we are organizing Life Day events on both coasts. We are observing Life Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida on Friday, November 10th due to the Thanksgiving holiday annual pass blackouts. Then we are celebrating Life Day at Disneyland Resort in California on Friday, November 17th.

The focus of both events is celebrating the Wookiee holiday. While lightsabers and Batuu Bounds are welcome, we strongly encourage guests to carry a Life Day orb and wear red Wookiee robes. If it’s too warm for robes, consider wearing red or bounding as your favorite Wookiee.