Today is Monkey Day

14th December is a special but ‘unofficial’ day for monkeys. On 14th December every year, we celebrate National Monkey Day. National Monkey Day celebrates the unique characteristics of simians. The day also focuses on other non-human primates such as tarsiers, lemurs and apes. 

Monkeys (also known as simians), live all over the world. There are more than 260 species of monkeys in Africa, South America, Central America and Asia. Monkeys walk on all four limbs and they range in size from mere ounces like the pygmy marmoset to the mandrill at a heavier 80 pounds. Monkeys are members of the primate family and they are considered a lesser ape. Most monkeys have a tail (though not all do). Monkeys are very interesting creatures.

They are mischievous, cute and sometimes downright obnoxious (anyone who disagrees has obviously never had their laundry torn down by a family of primates when it’s hanging to dry). Unfortunately, many species of primates are endangered, and then there are questions of animal rights and the usage of primates in medical research. This is the reason there’s Monkey Day; a day that’s been dedicated to raising awareness about non-human primates.

Learn about Monkey Day

Monkey Day has been initiated to celebrate monkeys, as well as “all things simian,” which includes apes, lemurs, tarsiers and other non-human primates. It is a great day when it comes to raising awareness about different types of primates and monkeys around the world, as well as the issues they face and how we can help them. Animal rights activities and environmental activists are especially vocal and passionate about this day (Monkey Day). The same goes for visual artists and art institutions. Supporters and some groups that celebrate this date include the Smithsonian Institution, the Louvre Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, London’s National Portrait Gallery, Greenpeace, National Geographic and Jane Goodall. 

History of Monkey Day

Casey Sorrow who was an art student at Michigan State University back in 2000, ended up writing “Monkey Day” on his friend’s calendar as a prank. Meanwhile the occasion was actually celebrated with other art students at MSU, and Sorrow later started collaborating with fellow MSU student on the Fetus-X comic strip, where the holiday was mentioned and popularized. From that moment onwards, Monkey Day has been observed internationally as a day to celebrate primates (most especially monkeys, but also lemurs, apes, and tarsiers).

Till date, Sorrow himself still does much to promote the holiday and the cause of primate welfare, and in addition to the Monkey Day website, he also maintains a “Monkeys in the News” blog which discusses primate-related news around the world and comes out with a list of the top ten primate-related news stories from the past year every Monkey Day.

Monkey Day has really has gone from strength-to-strength ever since it was created. Monkey Day is now celebrated in many different corners of the world. This includes Turkey, Scotland, Thailand, Colombia, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Pakistan, India, Germany, and Canada. It has been described by the Washington Post as a day to do the following:

  • Learn something about these adorable and highly intelligent primates. Or you could use this day to act like a monkey.
  • Visit the zoo

Use #MonkeyDay to post on social media.

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