Monkeys are interesting creatures – cute, mischievous, 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). Many species of primates are also endangered, and then there are questions of animal rights and the usage of primates in medical research. That’s why there’s Monkey Day, a day that’s been dedicated to raising awareness about non-human primates.
History of Monkey Day
Back in 2000, Casey Sorrow was an art student at Michigan State University, and he ended up writing “Monkey Day” on his friend’s calendar as a prank. But then they actually celebrated the occasion 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. Since then, Monkey Day has been observed internationally as a day to celebrate primates (including monkeys, but also apes, lemurs, and tarsiers).
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.
Observing Monkey Day
You could simply dress up in a monkey costume and play the part, because there are some people who do just that for Monkey Day and even hold competitions for it. Or you could spend the day at the zoo, because many zoos around the world do hold special celebrations for Monkey Day. Some of these events focus on educational events about monkeys, while others do things like auction off artwork created by chimps and performing intelligence tests on primates.
Even if you don’t have a monkey at your house, you might consider throwing a monkey day party, inviting all of your friends over (keep in mind that humans are in fact primates too, even without gorilla costumes), and common activities at such celebrations involve films such as King Kong, Planet of the Apes, and Lady Iron Monkey, as well as monkey-themed music (The Monkees, anyone?). Often, celebrations involve fundraising for primate-related causes and charities, and many organizations around the world dedicated to primates hold Monkey Day events of various sorts. So when Monkey Day comes around, get out there and do it proper, by monkeying around!