|Also called||International Monkey Day
Day of the Monkey
|Observed by||People worldwide, including:
|Celebrations||Costume parties, Art shows, Zoo visits, Webcomic marathons|
Monkey Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated internationally on December 14. While the holiday is mainly about monkeys, it also celebrates other non-human primates such as apes, tarsiers, and lemurs.
The holiday was started in 2000 when artist Casey Sorrow, then an art student at Michigan State University, jokingly scribbled Monkey Day on a friend's calendar, and then first celebrated the holiday with other MSU art students. It gained notoriety when Sorrow and fellow MSU art student Eric Millikin began including Monkey Day in their artwork and Fetus-X comic strips, and began promoting it online along with other artists. Since then, Monkey Day has been celebrated internationally, across countries like the U.S., Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
 Traditional celebrations
Hallmark Cards describes it as the "one day when monkey business is actually encouraged." The holiday is primarily celebrated with costume parties intended to help draw attention to issues related to simians, including medical research, animal rights, and evolution. Often there are competitions to see who has the best costumes, who can act like a monkey the longest, or speed knitting of monkey dolls. The holiday cuts across religious boundaries and provides opportunities to share monkey stories and contemplate our simian relatives. Other Monkey Day activities include going on shopping sprees for Paul Frank "Julius the Monkey" fashions, eating Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream, and spending the day at the zoo.
In 2005, Peter Jackson's King Kong was released on the fifth anniversary of Monkey Day. King Kong and Planet of the Apes films are popular at Monkey Day parties. Monkey-themed songs, such as Major Lance's "The Monkey Time", are also part of Monkey Day festivities.
Often, celebrations involve raising money for primate-related issues. In 2008, the official Monkey Day celebrations included an art show and silent auction to benefit the Chimps Inc. animal sanctuary; the show and auction included art by human artists as well as paintings from chimps Jackson and Kimie, residents of the sanctuary. The Biddle Gallery in Detroit also celebrated Monkey Day in 2008 with an annual Monkey Day art sale that included a free banana with each purchase.
For Monkey Day 2012, USA Weekend published The 12 Stars of Monkey Day, a series of paintings by Eric Millikin that were "in part inspired by the many pioneering space monkeys who rode into the stars on rockets, leading the way for human space flight."
Sorrow also maintains a comprehensive "Monkeys in the News" blog with stories on topics like monkey attacks, monkey smuggling, and monkey science. Every Monkey Day, Sorrow's "Monkeys in the News" blog counts down the previous year's "top 10 Monkey and Primate News highlights".
- Weeks, Linton (June 17, 2011). "Time To Mark National Theme Day Appreciation Day". NPR
- Koo, Zena (December 14, 2010). "Today's Pictures: Monkeys!". Slate
- Turner, Paul (December 14, 2009). "Marmot Nation is gearing up for a huge 2010". Spokesman Review: 1C.
- Millikin, Eric. (December 14, 2012). "Eric Millikin: For Monkey Day, the 5 wildest monkey stories of 2012". Detroit Free Press
- McKenzie, Charlie (December 8, 2005). "Holiday monkey business". Hour
- Klein, Sarah (December 10, 2003). "Monkeying around with the holidays". Detroit Metro Times
- Sorrow, Casey (December 14, 2006). "2006 Comics... It begins...". Monkey Day Comics
- Kessler, Gregor (December 8, 2006). "Wir haben mehr als genug theologische Feiertage". Financial Times Deutschland: pg 6. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
- Laverne, Lauren (December 14, 2009). "BBC Radio with Lauren Laverne". BBC Radio
- "Monkey Day". Hallmark Cards. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- "A TOAST TO BUBBLES". Los Angeles CityBeat (131). December 8, 2005. Archived from the original on April 15, 2007. Retrieved August 18, 2007.
- GateHouse News Service (Dec, 14, 2010). "Morning Minutes for Tuesday, December 14". Herkimer Telegram
- Cayton-Holland, Adam (December 14, 2006). "Monkey See, Monkey Doo: Finally, a holiday worth celebrating.". Westword
- O'Carroll, Eoin (December 14, 2010). "The top 10 monkeys.". The Christian Science Monitor
- Brenner, Lisa (December 14, 2010). "Party Like Rhesus Witherspoon: Today Is Monkey Day!.". LAist
- The Times Leader (Dec, 10, 2012). "FIVE THINGS TO KNOW THIS WEEK: Monkey Day, a piece of cake, and Gollum's 'precious'". The Times Leader, pg. 1A
- Jackson, Ashawnta. (December 4, 2012). "A December Holiday Playlist (No, Not That Holiday)". WNYC
- "Out On The Town". City Pulse 8 (17): 36. December 10, 2008.[dead link]
- "Mountain High". Missoula Independent 19 (50): Pg 37. December 11, 2008.
- Rubin, Neal (December 11, 2008). "Gallery owner gets artists to monkey around". Detroit News.
- O'Neil, Megan (December 10, 2008). "Night and Day". Detroit Metro Times.
- Sorrow, Casey (December 16, 2005). "The End of Monkey WebComics 2005". Monkey Day Comics
- Millikin, Eric (December 12, 2012). "The 12 Stars of Monkey Day". USA Weekend
- Hollifield, Scott (December 25, 2008). "Monkey Stories: They're thieves, gangsters and snitches". Winston-Salem Journal: Pg 3D.
- Sorrow, Casey. (December 14, 2012). "Happy Monkey Day 2012!". Monkeys In The News