Mole Day is celebrated annually on October 23, especially among the chemists from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m. The day is celebrated to commemorate Avogadro's Number (6.02 x 10^23) which is the most significant measuring unit in chemistry. This was discovered by Amadeo Avogadro (1776-1858). The Avogadro's Law is, "at a fixed rate temperature and pressure, equal volumes of gases contain the same number of molecules."
The significance of celebrating this day as Mole day lies behind this number – in American style of writing dates, October 23rd, and the time of celebration of the day is written together as - 6:02 10/23! The date falls within the National Chemistry Week as well. The American Chemical Society sponsors the events related to the activities and celebrations that are held the whole week round.
The concept of Mole Day originated in the early 1980s. The idea was seeded in an article in The Science Teacher. The article inspired Maurice Oehler, now a retired chemistry teacher from Wisconsin to come up with the idea which resulted in the National Mole Day Foundation (NMDF) on May 15, 1991. Henceforth, Mole Day is celebrated in schools and high schools around United States, South Africa, Australia and in Canada to get their students more interested in chemistry. They organize various activities related to chemistry and moles. The National Mole Day Foundation is a non-profit organization supported through membership fees and sales of the Foundation merchandise such as T-shirts.
The Foundation creates a theme for every year to inspire the participants in the activities. "Go for the Mole" and "The Mole the Merrier" were some past themes. The theme this year is “Moles of the Caribbean.” The activities include funny "Molympics" featuring a 6.02 minute relay race and Mole Scavenger Hunt.
The "National Mole of the Year" award is also presented to the member who has contributed towards a promising realization of the goals of Mole Day and has encouraged chemistry education. The prizes are a $500 cash award, a plaque, free Mole Day breakfast and the free membership in the National Mole Day Foundation for one year.
The Mole Day is an unofficial holiday among the chemists and scientists, particularly in the USA, and is celebrated as a day of national educational significance. The day encourages implementation of classes on the subject, seminars, and projects fostering the importance chemistry holds in the advancement of science and technology.