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history of 420

What does 420 mean? April 20 is the International Cannabis Day!

Cannabis enthusiasts have their holiday, which they celebrate on April 20th. Why 420? On this day, at 4:20 PM, thousands, even millions of people around the world will reach for their beloved plants. How did April 20th become World Cannabis Day, and why has the number 420 become an incredibly recognizable symbol, used by artists worldwide?

What will you learn from the article?

👉 When do we celebrate 420?

👉 How come we use the slang word for “420”?

👉 Myths and interesting facts about the worldwide marijuana holiday

Table of contents:

  1. 420 – where did it come from?
  2. Where did the 420 map lead?
  3. How did the “420” slang was established?
  4. April 20 around the world – 420 is a cannabis holiday!
  5. 420 Hippie Hill Festival
  6. Myths About 420!
  7. 420 – Fun facts and inspirations
  8. Why are there no hotel rooms numbered 420?
  9. Celebrate 420 with us!

What’s the deal with 420?

Let’s start by explaining how the symbol 420 became so popular. To understand its phenomenon, it’s necessary to clarify the way dates and times are written in the USA – because that’s where the iconic 420 originates.

420 – where did it come from? 📆

In the American date format, 4/20 means April 20th, because the month is written first.

As for time, it is written in formats like 4:20 AM or 4:20 PM, where AM indicates the hours before noon (from midnight to noon), and PM indicates the afternoon hours (from noon to midnight). Therefore, 4:20 PM – according to the military time for most of Europe – is 16:20. 

The history of the mysterious code 420 (4/20) dates back to 1971 when a group of five friends received a special treasure map from a friend. This occurred in San Rafael, one of the sunniest corners of California. 

Where did the 420 map lead? 🗺️

According to the author’s words, it was supposed to lead to a hidden cannabis field in the dense forest. As claimed by the map’s author, he who handed it to the teenagers, couldn’t go there himself. The cannabis plantation became their target! 

He was generous enough to pass on the map to others, saying that whatever they harvested would belong to them. It’s not hard to guess that the group of teenagers quickly headed to the cannabis paradise that was waiting for them in the middle of the forest.

The forest expedition was set to start at the statue of Louis Pasteur precisely at… 4:20 PM. Unfortunately, the treasure was never found, but – as the legend has it – the teenagers spent a delightful afternoon… 😉 And so, in the 1970s, the curious symbol 420 appeared, which is still used today.

How did the “420” slang was established? 🤷

They enjoyed the expedition so much that they began organizing them regularly, and the signal to embark on the next journey was the phrase “420 Louie“. The use of the abbreviation 420 became increasingly popular, and everyone wanted to find out what 420 meant. To this day, many people wonder about 420 – what it is and what it signifies. 

Over time, this phrase was shortened to just “420” and became extremely popular. It was adopted by other teenagers, hippies, herb enthusiasts, and… Steve Hager, the editor-in-chief of the well-known magazine High Times. For many people around the world, April 20th is World Marijuana Day, and in the cannabis culture, this symbol is incredibly important. 

Steve, through his magazine High Times, made 420 popular throughout the United States, and later in every other corner of the world. 420 quickly became popular, and today it is an important part of the slang of all cannabis fans. 

420 meaning

April 20 around the world – 420 is a cannabis holiday!  🥦

Although the journey of the phrase “420” was very long – from the mysterious treasure map to Steve Hager’s magazine, April 20 is now celebrated worldwide with great fanfare. The symbol quickly spread – and for good reason! Today it is a well-known holiday, especially in the cannabis culture.

It’s almost a magical number for all cannabis fans, who on that day at 4:20 PM reach for their supplies.

The 420 cannabis holiday is celebrated lavishly worldwide, spontaneously!

A famous event is the Hush Bush – it takes place in Michigan and begins in early April. The event includes numerous lectures, speeches, parades, and concerts. The first Hush Bush was held in 1972.

Another interesting event is the 420 Hippie Hill Festival, which takes place in San Francisco. Thousands of people come there, and at 4:20 PM, they light up a symbolic joint. Some people prefer to commemorate such festivities with the help of a trusty vaporizer.  🤠

420 Hippie Hill Festival

The popularity of the holiday continues to grow. Importantly, it is very spontaneous – nobody organizes it. Every year, cannabis fans show up, wanting to feel a sense of community for one day. 

Gatherings also take place in London’s Hyde Park, where thousands of activists gather, protesting against overly strict regulations. Fortunately, today the decriminalization of marijuana is becoming increasingly popular – allowing residents of many countries to use not only industrial hemp but also Indian hemp. In the 70s, nobody expected things to look this way!

Every April 20th, the celebrations of the 420 holiday grow stronger, and many people celebrate it in the privacy of their own home or their favourite outdoor spot. Many cannabis fans start to meet in specific places to celebrate this very important holiday.

However, it’s important to be aware that – even if we celebrate alone at 4:20 PM on April 20th – at that very moment, millions of people around the world are doing the same.

The 420 holiday is a great opportunity to celebrate together and share our passion for vaporization. It’s a time to exchange experiences and enjoy the cool moments spent with friends. Let’s have fun responsibly and enjoy this day!

Lucas Cysewski – CEO and founder of VapeFully

Myths About 420!

Over the last few decades, many myths have emerged around 420. Which of these pieces of information are not true?

  • For example, the belief that the number comes from the fact that cannabis contains 420 active substances. Of course, considering the popularity of 420, this would be very interesting, but… unfortunately, it is not true. 
  • Some also believe that 420 was a special code used by the New York police to denote crimes related to cannabis. Well, that would certainly indicate a good sense of humour on the part of the police, but… this also is a myth. 
  • Many people also believe that Bob Marley died on April 20th and that is why fans from different parts of the world pay tribute to him on this day.

In reality, one of the most famous Rastafarians passed away on May 11, 1981. Of course, there’s nothing to stop us from paying him a small tribute on that day – in a way that we find appropriate.

420 – Fun facts and inspirations 💨

The 420 symbol, however, has become an inspiration for artists around the world. It is particularly popular among music bands whose members are not opposed to herbal medicine.

Just type any phrase related to 420 into Google, and you’ll see a plethora of music tracks and playlists. Almost every rock group knows the 420 symbol!

Movie trivia fans love to repeat that in the cult movie Pulp Fiction, all the clocks show… 4:20! Coincidence?

Not necessarily. If you watch the movie carefully, you’ll notice that indeed the clocks often show 4:20, but in some scenes, they are set to 20:18 or 14:25…

It remains to believe that according to the original plan, indeed all the clocks were meant to show 4:20 PM, but – somewhere in the post-production process – there must’ve been someone who did not appreciate Quentin Tarantino’s idea.

Why are there no hotel rooms numbered 420? 🤔

Another interesting fact is that… some hotels do not have room number 420. After room 419, there is immediately room 421.

A mistake in labelling?

Not necessarily. Many hotel owners, especially in the USA, know very well that enthusiasts have their holiday on that day. To protect themselves from party guests, owners omit room 420.

Celebrate 420 with us! 💜

Vaporization provides a fascinating alternative to traditional smoking methods, offering both the subtlety of aroma and the efficiency of delivering active substances. For those who want to dive deeper into the world of vaporization or are looking for new, innovative solutions in this field, VapeFully offers a wide range of vaporizers and necessary vaporization accessories. 🤩

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