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420 Hyde Park 2019: What is 420 day? Everything you need to know about the London event

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 18/04/2019 Lizzie Thomson
a group of people sitting at a park © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

On April 20, millions around the world gather for the annual 420 event, to celebrate their appreciation of cannabis and to protest its illegality.

The biggest event in London takes place in Hyde Park, where thousands meet to smoke and rally, calling for the government to decriminalise the Class B drug.

Here’s everything to know about 420 and the Hyde Park event in the capital.

What is 420 day?

As a term, 420 simply refers to the tradition of smoking cannabis every year on April 20 — an unofficial International Weed Day.

The reason behind the name is debated, however, it’s widely believed that it began with a group of five friends from California, nicknamed the Waldos. The students would meet at 4.20pm every afternoon to hunt for an abandoned plot of marijuana plants near the Point Reyes Coast Guard Station.

Despite searching for several weeks, they never found it but, allegedly, they coined the phrase 420 to disguise their drug use.

When is 420 day 2019?

The event takes place every year on April 20 — which is written as 4/20 in the American style. This year, the date coincides with Easter bank holiday weekend in the UK.

What is the 420 Hyde Park event?

There are pro-drug rallies worldwide on April 20, but Hyde Park is known as the largest in the country.

This year's event has brought about multiple Facebook pages with further details of the gathering in the capital. One Facebook event says guests should expect a “few stalls there and performances” as well as a “few special guests” and some “influencers attending”. Another page currently has approximately 363 people that have pledged that they are going, with another 726 registered as interested.

Crowds are expected to gather from 11am onwards, and previous years have seen smoke clouds form above the green space.

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