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Koi fish are fascinating creatures that are often colorful and ornamental, and enjoyable to watch. Bred to bring decoration to ponds and water displays, the word ‘koi’ simply means carp in Japanese, as these fish are a version of the common carp – but they are obviously much more beautiful! 

History of National Koi Day

The date for National Koi Day was chosen in memory of the world’s oldest Koi fish, Hanako. While most of these japanese fish are known to have an average lifespan of about 40 years, the stories of Hanako date her birth during 1750 and her death came in 1977. That would make her more than 225 years old – outliving several of her human caretakers!

Hanako’s age was determined by a study that took place in 1974, testing the scales of the fish which grow in a similar manner to tree rings. Sadly, Hanako died on July 7, 1977 and the date of National Koi Day is celebrated in her honor.

How to Celebrate National Koi Day

Have some fun with new and interesting cultural experiences by learning more about this fish and celebrating with some of these ideas on National Koi Day:

Learn Fun Facts About Koi Fish 

Get informed and share that knowledge in celebration of National Koi Day! Make it a point to learn some fun facts about these fascinating fish and share them with friends and family or online to raise awareness for this event. Perform an online search, head over to the local library to learn more, or check out some of these interesting bits of trivia about Koi to get started with:

  • While Koi is a common nickname, the official Japanese name for these ornamental fish is Nishikigoi, which means ‘swimming jewel’

  • While they likely originated in China, the first recorded display of Koi fish in Tokyo was in 1914, driving up their popularity in Japan and eventually spreading worldwide

  • The most expensive Koi fish ever sold at auction was in 2017 in Japan for the whopping sum of $1.8 million

  • Koi fish are very smart, can recognize the person who feeds them, and can even be trained to eat out of their hand

Visit a Koi Farm

Get on board with National Koi Day with live access to these fascinating fish. Head over to a local farm that grows these beautiful fish, or locate an aquarium that stocks them. With more than 100 different varieties, sorted into 16 different categories, there’s never an opportunity to get bored when viewing the unique types of Koi fish.

Learn More About Koi Symbolism

In Japanese culture, where this beautiful fish hails from, the Koi fish has all sorts of attachments to symbols and significance. Check out and share some of these interesting symbols in celebration of National Koi Day:

  • Chagoi Koi – represents health and longevity
  • Yamabuki Koi – symbolizes financial and monetary gain
  • Tancho Koi – this symbol of honor has a red spot reminiscent of the Japanese flag
  • Kujaku Koi – this version of the Japanese carp is considered to be lucky or to bring happiness 

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