As Picard himself explained, the holiday is “for the children” who live aboard the Enterprise. On June 16, all of the Enterprise-D’s schoolchildren create projects using Captain Picard as their inspiration. Many students opt to create drawings or paintings, but some particularly talented students create sculptures dedicated to the captain. These projects are entered into a contest, judged by Captain Picard himself.
The Origins of the Holiday
The origins of Captain Picard Day in the “Star Trek” canon are vague. The only time the celebration is seen in “The Next Generation” is in the episode “The Pegasus,” which opens with Picard judging the art contest.
Picard expresses his disdain for the holiday, apparently embarrassed by the celebration. He comments that he thought the teachers were going to end the festivities after last year’s celebration, indicating that the holiday had been honored at least once before. His comment also suggests that it had been celebrated multiple times before. Since “The Pegasus” is in the seventh season of the show, it’s possible that Captain Picard Day had been celebrated for several years before that.
The only hint at the origin of the holiday is given by Counselor Deanna Troi. She explains that the schoolchildren love to honor Picard because “they look up to” him and because he’s “a role model.” However, she does not explain how the celebration got started.
Mentions in Other ‘Star Trek’ Shows
Captain Picard Day is mentioned two other times in “Star Trek” shows.
The first mention is in the “Star Trek: Picard” episode, “Remembrance.” In that episode, the series premiere, Picard went to his vault at the Starfleet Museum Quantum Archives. Several important items from his time in Starfleet are shown in the vault. Among them is the banner from Captain Picard Day that was shown in “The Pegasus.” Apparently, the banner held significant sentimental value even though Picard wasn’t fond of the celebration itself.
The second mention came in the “Star Trek: Lower Decks” episode, “Cupid’s Errant Arrow.” Mariner was convinced that Boimler’s girlfriend wasn’t real. He defended his love by saying she was as real “a hopped-up Q on Captain Picard Day.” It was just a one-off line, but it suggests that the holiday was still celebrated even years later.
Trekkers all over the world celebrate Captain Picard Day in real life as well. According to StarTrek.com, the events depicted in “The Pegasus” took place around the Stardate 47457.1. Some very dedicated Trek fans figured out that Stardate 47457.1 translates to June 16. As this information circulated around the Internet, fans began to celebrate the Trek holiday in their own ways.
There is some debate as to whether Captain Picard Day actually happened a few days prior since the Stardate was given at the end of the episode. However, celebrate the day on June 16 anyway, since the Stardate was the only available benchmark.
Most of these celebrations consist of Trekkers posting their favorite Captain Picard moments, memes, and fan videos on social media or blogs. Some fans choose to celebrate the traditional way by creating art featuring Captain Picard. In fact, there’s an entire blog dedicated to art created to celebrate the holiday.
Whether they’re honoring Picard with memes or art, Trekkers around the world come together every June 16 to pay homage to this amazing captain.
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