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 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 interest. Whatever the reason for not taking advantage of the incredible amount of tangible knowledge museums offer, and regardless of age, Museum Day is the time to invest in education in its most fascinating form.
History of Museum Day
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) created International Museum Day in 1977. The organisation chooses a different theme for the day and coordinates every year. Some of the themes include globalisation, indigenous peoples, brigding culture 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 in the world, by organising 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.
How to celebrate Museum Day
There is no better way to celebrate 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. Museum Day is an increasingly popular worldwide event, so it is quite probably 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 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!