Few places in our world are more educational than museums. After all, where else could we hope to see so many pieces of actual history that tell so many stories about our ancestors? From prehistoric spears to Egyptian mummies, from ancient Greek sculptures to medieval armor, and from the first radio to the first planes used in war during WWI, museums have it all. Unfortunately, there are millions of people with direct access to museums that have never even visited one.
There are many possible reasons for this–perhaps they think just looking at old things would be boring, or perhaps they are unaware just how different the world was in the past and see no reason to take an interest. Whatever the reason for not taking advantage of the incredible amount of tangible knowledge museums offer, and regardless of age, International Museum Day is the time to invest in education in its most fascinating form.
Many people may ask why they would invest in something like International Museum Day when modern technology can give them all the answers that they may need. Well, to answer that fairly, all you need to do is a little Google search.
Nowadays, if you need to find an answer to something, you can surely just jump online and get it right? Well, yes, but what you need to realize is that the answer you get is quite possibly wrong.
A study conducted in 2016 on how many of the historical facts you find online were true, had some shocking results. It seems as of November 2016, over 48% of all available historical facts available online are inaccurate or downright wrong. So, taking this into account, you may want to place your fair elsewhere.
The truth is, education is important, so days like International Museum Day should be something to get yourself and your young ones excited for; after all, while there will be children filling their heads with nonsense, you have the ability to fill your children with knowledgey goodness.
History of International Museum Day
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) created International Museum Day in 1977. The organization chooses a different theme for the day and coordinates every year. Some of the themes include globalization, indigenous peoples, bridging cultural gaps, and caring for the environment.
Every year since 1977, all of the museums in the world are invited to participate in this day to promote the role of museums around the world, by organizing enjoyable and free activities around the year’s theme.
International Museum Day has become steadily more popular since its creation, with International Museum Day 2009 being participated in by 20,000 museums in over 90 countries. In 2012, the number of participating museums had jumped to 30,000 in 129 countries.
As the years have gone by, we have been blessed to live in a society where while technology seems to want to take over, there have been certain things that are now considered cool that were once reserved for a very target demographic.
While the numbers of participants were slowly climbing almost a decade ago, over the last five years, the numbers are climbing at an even more rapid rate. When we look at this, we may ask ourselves why, and the truth is simple, history is now something that is classed as cool.
Yes, we may live in a technology-driven society, but it seems that the more technology has reigned over the world, people have started to gravitate towards the things that connect them to a world they are scared of losing.
Today, there are more visitors to museums all over the world than ever before, and more than this, there are now more people studying history at degree level than at any point in history.
Now, it may be possible that this is just a point where geek chic is in, and students want to seem more cultural and in touch with the world, but if we stop for a brief moment, could it not be possible that International Museum Day has played a small role in helping entire new generations fall in love with history once again?
The truth may, in fact, be both, but one thing we must remember is that While it may not be as popular as some days, International Museum Day is something that should be held in high importance.
The further we move forward, the more we leave behind, and with all of the things that are now long behind us, we need something to help us remember where we have been, that way, we can take the journey ahead of us with more confidence.
How to celebrate International Museum Day
There is no better way to celebrate International Museum Day than to take a trip down to a nearby museum, either alone, with friends, or even your children if you feel they are old enough to appreciate the place. Depending on where you live, the museums you might be closest to could be ones connected with anything from farming to fashion, from astronomy to archaeology, from art to natural history. If it turns out that the museums in your immediate area are not ones that would interest you, maybe you could consider a day trip to a nearby city to visit a museum better suited to your interests? Carpooling with a friend or two will make the trip cheaper and very possibly more interesting.
Another thing to think about is how well you tolerate crowds. International Museum Day is an increasingly popular worldwide event, so it is quite probable that many of the larger and better-known museums will be pretty crowded on this day, especially since many museums do not charge an entrance fee then. If you do not feel like standing in long lines to see every single thing or having to maneuver your way through crowds of people, paying more attention to not stepping on anyone’s shoes than the objects on exhibition, you may want to visit the museum of your choice a few days before or after International Museum Day.
On weekdays, museums are often quiet places where one can come to study our ancestors’ lifestyles and contemplate what motivated them to behave and develop as they did. However you decide to celebrate Museum day, don’t let this opportunity to find out about the history of the human race go to waste!