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How To Celebrate Yankee Elimination Day!

Our complete guide to this ancient (and fun!) holiday tradition.

Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees - Game Two Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Yankee Elimination Day revelries.
New York Times

At once both secular and sacred, Yankee Elimination Day occupies a special place in the hearts of millions. Conjuring images of blown saves, broken bats, and crying children from suburban New Jersey, Yankee Elimination Day represents hope in an increasingly chaotic world.

But what are the origins of his now famous holiday, and how is it traditionally celebrated? To help you navigate this joyous time of year, Over The Monster has compiled this guide to Yankee Elimination Day. Read on and, as always, celebrate responsibly.

History Of Yankee Elimination Day

The tradition began in 1929, when everyone realized once and for all that the Yankees were pieces of shit who stole a logo that was originally created to honor fallen police officers. In 1927 the Yankees had been all “oh we’re better than everyone ever” — fuck off, clowns! — and then they ran it back in 1928, sweeping the Cardinals. In 1929, though, they did not win the World Series, finishing 18 games behind the Philadelphia Athletics, who would go on to defeat the Chicago Cubs to win the title.

But no one cared about the hardware; what America cared about was Yankee failure. Spontaneous celebrations erupted across the country as the morning editions hit the newsstands and word of mouth spread. People said it was bigger than the end of the Great War. A tradition was born that day.

Of course, not every year has a Yankee Elimination Day; the Yankees have won too much. But the upshot is that, in the unfortunate event those dopes do win it all, the celebration is postponed for another year, and the longing built up over the subsequent 12 months often explodes into an even more raucous celebration (that’s why 2001 was such a great party). But make no mistake: Every Yankee Elimination Day is special. This year’s will be special. It’s the most important day on the baseball calendar. How could it not be?

Traditional Yankee Elimination Day Celebrations

Yankee Elimination Day Eve, A Solemn Night Of Remembrance and Reflection

While Yankee Elimination Day is generally associated with merriment, indulgence, and festive celebration, it has its roots in the pain and suffering of a long oppressed people. This pain is reflected in the customs of Yankee Elimination Day Eve, when practitioners traditionally gather with loved ones for a night of quiet reflection and remembrance of the suffering caused by Yankees past.

The ceremonies begin at sunset, with the lighting of 27 candles. The candles represent vigilance, serving as a reminder that Yankee Elimination Day may not come, and that, instead, the world may be cloaked in 12 months of darkness.

Prior to retiring for the evening, practitioners leave an offering for the Spirit of The Nomar outside their front doors. According to scripture, the Nomar was a fierce and indominatable warrior, and it was prophesized that he would one day lead his people in rebellion against their Yankee oppressors. The weight of responsibility became too much for the Nomar to bear, however, and ultimately, it was only his ritual sacrifice that led his tribe to victory. It is said that the Spirit of The Nomar visits his people every year on Yankee Elimination Day Eve, and so, an offering is left to placate his restless soul. While the precise contents of the offering differ from region to region, it typically consists of a pair of batting gloves, a tube of hair gel, and a $25 gift card to GNC.

The Tolling of the Bellhorn

At the moment of Yankee elimination, formal celebrations are inaugurated by the tolling of the Bellhorn. According to tradition, the Bellhorn should be made of a 50-50 formulation of gold and swag. Considerations of a person’s means, however, allow the Bellhorn to take many forms. Children have been known to make Bellhorns out of tin cans. Adults often make them out of empty beer bottles. Still others simply just pull out their phones and put on a real banger. Anything goes, really.

The Dance(-ing On My Own) Party

Upon hearing the tolling of the Bellhorn, celebrants typically take to the streets for an impromptu dance party. Many municipalities suspend open container laws for the subsequent 24 hours, while others simply throw up their hands declare mob rule. Either way, the dance party presents an opportunity to gather with one’s community and reconnect with friends and neighbors.

Celebrants often take breaks from dancing to compete in contests of physical skill, which may include scaling nearby light poles or leaping over burning couches. Perhaps the best-loved and most widely known contest involves teams of devotees competing to flip over stationary vehicles. Extra points are awarded based on the vehicle’s value or provenance, with the highest point total being reserved for municipal vehicles. After successfully toppling a vehicle, one should celebrate by dancing on top of the chassis and looking swaggy as hell:

The March of the Wandering Napolis

In certain orthodox communities, particularly devout celebrants practice a form of self-flagellation known as the March of the Wandering Napolis. A Wandering Napoli strips themselves of clothing, abandons friends and loved ones, and wanders the streets alone until the early morning hours, periodically ingesting small doses of an intoxicating poison. It is said that if a Wandering Napoli passes by your house, you must invite them in with an offer of your cheapest alcohol, lest you bring about 86 years of bad luck.

Rare footage of a Wandering Napoli performing his sacred rites.

Yankee Elimination Day Fun For Children

The Grinning Chapman

For children, Yankee Elimination Day is an opportunity for playful mischief. According to lore, the Grinning Chapman was a neer-do-well who, despite frequently causing mayhem, never stopped smiling. Today, children don Grinning Chapman masks while engaging in pranks and shenanigans around their house or neighborhood. Per tradition, adults are not permitted to get angry with a child wearing a Grinning Chapman mask; if any adults fail to hold their anger, they are exiled to Florida and left out of remaining celebrations.

Kids, print out the Grinning Chapman mask provided below and ask a grown-up to help you cut out eye-holes!

Safety Tips For Parents On Yankee Elimination Day

Many cultures celebrate Yankee Elimination Day with a feast involving the finest meats, cheeses, and baked goods. Parents: It is critically important that you cut into any cake before serving it to your child, as pinstripes inside indicate the presence of dangerous toxins that could cause paralysis or, even worse, an affinity for A-Rod.

Yankee Elimination Day Around The World

While Yankee Elimination Day is most fervently observed in the New England region of the United States, celebrations can be found around the world.

In the desert regions of the Southwestern United States, devotees commemorate a particularly noteworthy Yankee Elimination Day of the past by setting piles of broken bats ablaze and dancing around the fires. The celebration lasts all night, and it’s highly suspected that those who are able to remain dancing until sunrise do so with the help of performance enhancing drugs.

Yankee Elimination Day revelers in the desert outside Phoenix.

On the shores of North America’s Great Lakes, Yankee Elimination Day is celebrated with the so-called “Dance of the Midges.” In this form of play-acting, children dress as tiny bugs and repeatedly poke an adult dressed as “The Joba,” a fat, slovenly character known for his excessive drinking and unmet potential.

Yankee Elimination Day is even celebrated in certain parts of New York City, particularly the borough of Queens. Here, blue-and-orange clad practitioners celebrate by saying “wait, the baseball season is still going?” before turning back to the TV and watching the Jets lose once again.

Wherever and however you celebrate, Yankee Elimination Day brings about feelings of joy, warmth, and community. Long may it continue.