Whenever I go to Henry Dorly Zoo in Omaha, I make a point of visiting the Primate areas. I also make a point of celebrating World Monkey Day each year because I like monkeys. Simians are fascinating because they are so much like us.
The unofficial holiday was dreamed up by Michigan State University art student Casey Sorrow when he wrote “Monkey Day” on his friend Eric Millikin’s calendar as a joke. The unofficial holiday took off when the two included “Monkey Day” in their comic strip “Fetus-X”.
This special day is non-sectarian and is devoted to the fun celebration of monkeys and other simian species. Even though Monkey Day is mainly about the many types of monkeys, non-monkey simians are also highlighted, such as apes, lemurs, and tarsiers. It’s a nice change of pace from all the various religiously based holidays celebrated at this time of year.
So, how do I celebrate “Monkey Day”? I make a point of sending a donation to a primate centered wildlife charity, there are several to choose from. Then, I rummage through my tote that contains stuffed animal props. I usually hang my stuffed monkey toy from a branch of my potted palm. There are a few old “Beenie Baby” apes and monkeys I’ve received as gifts. They sit on my desk and stereo cabinet. If I have extra time, I watch a primate related documentary.
Some people celebrate these very intelligent creatures by going to the zoo or dressing up as monkeys. Some people pay homage to Hanuman or learn about the Hindu deity on this day. Many cultures revere monkeys in their spiritual traditions.
If you have a small child, tonight is also a good time to read a bedtime story about monkeys. You might want to borrow a monkey book from the public library for yourself and your family to enjoy.
How about giving a small surprise monkey themed gift to a friend or lover today? Or you could make a pencil sketch or draw a funny monkey cartoon to share. At the very least, there are monkey memes to share on the Web. Or you can listen to the Beatles’ “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey” https://youtu.be/8XpZ8mKlS-c . Maybe, if you are physically able, you might want to climb around on the monkey bars at the local playground.
Happy Monkey Day.