Haight Ashbury in San Francisco was the epicenter of 1960s hippie culture in the U.S. Today some remnants of that era still survive if you don’t include the touristy shops selling tie dye and Grateful Dead t-shirts.
On the corner of Haight and Ashbury is a clock permanently set to 4:20 p.m., which is known as international bong hit time.
420 is code for those involved in cannabis culture. Reports vary as to where 420 originated. Urban legend has it that 420 is police code for marijuana. Others argue 4:20 is the time a group of high school students in the neighborhood in the 1970s used to meet after school to partake.
Today April 20th is an unofficial holiday for cannabis culture folks to gather and light up. In San Francisco the day is celebrated in Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park.
I happened to walk by Hippie Hill on April 20th of this year and saw large groups of people sitting in circles engulfed in plumes of smoke. At the time I was unaware of the holiday and just assumed this is what the locals do in San Francisco.
Have you ever unexpectedly stumbled across a counter culture or unusual holiday or festival in your travels?