World Monkey Day: Origins, importance and celebrations
Monkey Day, also known as World Monkey Day or International Monkey Day, is an unofficial holiday on December 14 that celebrates “everything monkey” and also raises awareness about various species of monkeys and primates around the world.
The day aims to celebrate “all monkeys,” including other non-human primates such as monkeys, tarsiers and lemurs, and highlight the problems they face.
As many as 260 species of monkeys live in Africa, Central America, South America and Asia, in size, weight and appearance. So, of course, environmental activists and animal rights activists are always vocal and passionate about World Monkey Day,
World Monkey Day was created by contemporary artists Casey Sorrow and Eric Millikin in 2000, when the two were students at Michigan State University.
Sadness wrote “Monkey Day” on his friend’s calendar as a prank. But he and his friends actually celebrated the occasion with other students at the University. As the day gained fame, Sorrow began collaborating with Millikin on the comic Fetus-X, where the holiday was mentioned. Soon they started publishing online and even internationalized with other comic artists.
The day gained nationwide popularity in the United States and other countries. It is now celebrated across countries such as Canada, Germany, India, Pakistan, Estonia, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Thailand, Turkey and Scotland.
The day is important not only for animal enthusiasts and environmentalists, but also for schoolchildren and other common people who want to learn more about the various primate species.
The day also educates people about many species of monkeys currently endangered. Indri, Roloway monkey, western chimpanzee and Ecuadorian White-fronted Capuchin are some of the endangered species.
Many zoos around the world host annual Monkey Day events and contests. Some of these events focus on educating the masses about different primates, their habitats, and what is being done to ensure their safety and survival.
In some countries, art exhibitions take place during Monkey Day to spread the word.
Sadness himself maintains a blog ‘Monkeys in the News’, where he updates his followers on topics like monkey science, monkey smuggling and monkey attacks. Fundraisers are also an essential part of the day and it involves raising money for primate things.