Alpacas are very endearing, and they all have very different personalities.Antony Beevor
Alpacas are cute, fuzzy animals that have been part of agriculture for a significant amount of time. These beautiful creatures have unique personalities, are highly sensitive to their environments and are docile in nature.
That’s why there’s a holiday dedicated to these lovely animals–and it’s called National Alpaca Day.
History of National Alpaca Day
Originating in South America, the Alpaca is part of the camelid family, which also includes the Asian humped camel. These lovely creatures have been domesticated for more than 9000 years and have been vitally important to the people of the Andes over the centuries.
Alpacas are actually excellent animals to have around the farm because their soft, padded feet are kind to the pasture land, leaving plants undamaged and thriving. And since they don’t actually have top front teeth, their grazing style is extremely gentle. These animals are very personable and most are smart enough to respond when their own name is called!
In 2014, the Alpaca Owners Association founded this special to educate people about how lovable and soft Alpacas are and how they contribute to the global economy.
The AOA started in that same year as a merge between the Alpaca Owners & Breeders Association, Inc. and the Alpaca Registry, Inc. These two associations began in the 1980’s with two different purposes when it came to the alpaca industry, one focusing on scientific research and the other focusing on showcasing and education. Once the merge happened, the AOA was able to serve the North American alpaca industry with concise unity and be able to represent all the facets of the industry.
Each year, the AOA hosts events all over the North American region with cooperation with farm members to educate people about the alpaca farm industry. Visitors that come to these farms get the opportunity to meet their alpacas and learn about their alpaca products.
Each farm member hosts special activities that teach people and families about alpacas, such as how alpacas contribute to the environment and create a green industry of production that’s safer than most farms. As a nonprofit organization, the AOA hosts this day as a way for people to learn about alpaca livestock and how important they are to the environment and economy, as well as offering opportunities for people to get involved in the Alpaca farm lifestyle.
Because the industry of Alpaca farming developed slowly in various parts of the world, a few different days have been used to celebrate National Alpaca Day. Some other days paying homage to Alpacas include New Zealand’s National Alpaca Day on May 2, Peru’s National Alpaca Day on August 1, and National Alpaca Farm Day in the United States on September 26.
Whenever it is celebrated, getting to know more about these delightful creatures is an enjoyable pursuit! It’s time to celebrate National Alpaca Day.
How to Celebrate National Alpaca Day
Get on board and support this adorable animal by enjoying some of these activities for National Alpaca Day:
Visit a Local Alpaca Farm
To celebrate National Alpaca Day, one of the best ways to show your interest in alpacas is to visit a farm in the local area that carries a membership with the AOA. On this holiday, it will likely be possible to get up close and pet alpacas, learn about local farmers, and see how alpaca fur is used in so many natural products that are on the market today.
Learn a Craft Using Alpaca Wool
Alpaca fiber can be used for a variety of purposes including making clothing, bedding, toys, and more. It has similar characteristics to sheep’s wool but is usually warmer and often softer. Plus, it doesn’t contain lanolin, which is a wax product present on sheep’s wool that can cause allergies in some people.
Most often, alpaca fibers are spun into yarn that can then be used to make all sorts of hand-crafted items whether knitted, crocheted, or woven. Try using super soft Alpaca wool to create one of these unique projects:
- Alpaca Scarf. Super warm and soft against the skin, a scarf is one of the easiest Alpaca projects to knit, crochet, or weave because it is simply a giant rectangle.
- Dryer Balls. This clever hack helps clothes to dry faster and without wrinkling. These are easy to make from unspun Alpaca fiber, felting them into balls that can save money and the environment when it comes to drying.
- Socks. For more experienced knitters and crochet-ers, one of the most delightful ways to use Alpaca wool is making it into socks for cold feet. But don’t be deceived–they won’t make feet feel hot and itchy even on a warmer day. The natural fibers are excellent at wicking moisture away from the skin.
- Baby Garments. Since some Alpaca yarns can be a bit more expensive, they’re perfect when used on a small project, like a soft sweater, dress, jumper or snuggly for an heirloom new baby gift.
Let Others Know About National Alpaca Day
Invite friends or family to enjoy Alpaca-related events on this day. Share the idea of celebrating the day on social media. Share your love for alpacas with the world by posting a picture of yourself with alpacas, whether they’re a cute stuffed animal or the real thing.