National Popcorn Day, Pi Day, Alien Abduction Day. I celebrate them all. But none of these minor holidays is as important to me as today: Monkey Day.
Ever since I was a kid reading Curious George books, I’ve had an affinity for monkeys. So imagine my joy and surprise when I discovered that a day had been set aside each year to celebrate these amazing creatures.
Despite the name “Monkey” Day, December 14th is a day to celebrate all things simian: from New and Old World monkeys to the great apes, like gorillas and orangutans. It’s a day to remember that we co-exist on this planet with some amazing species that aren’t so different from us. “Monkey” is merely a colloquial shorthand for referring to all the primates — including the kind that writes blogs and drinks coffee.
But why do I celebrate Monkey Day? Aside from my need to celebrate every holiday no matter how minor, I also take this day to consider my own monkey-ness. Believe it or not, there’s a lot we can learn from our simian siblings.
Channeling My Inner Monkey
Take me to a zoo or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and I’ll spend most of my time with the monkeys. I could watch them for hours. They are fascinating creatures, and I think they have a lot to teach us. Not only do monkeys create some amazing familial bonds, they also display a great sense of humor. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t love the ol’ “throwing feces at the humans” joke?
So each year, I take this day to examine my life and think about how I could be a better “monkey” in everything I do. Here are five ways you can bring more monkey attitude into your daily life.
- Be social — Get out there! Just like humans, monkeys seem to crave connections. Whether with family or an extended social group, they need to be with others. Spend time with friends and family.
- Stay active — You’ll never see a monkey sitting on the couch and playing Angry Birds all day. In fact, in a recent study, bonobo apes preferred eating to watching television!
- Speak up — Can you imagine a silent silverback gorilla? A quiet capuchin monkey? When monkeys want something, they make themselves heard. Stand up for yourself and get noticed.
- Take time to play — Work is important, but take time to enjoy life, too. Swing through the trees and roll on the ground. Enjoy each day, and make it memorable.
- Learn something — Despite what you might think, surviving in the jungle takes more than good instincts. It pays to watch others and learn from them. You never know when a new skill could come in handy.
To celebrate Monkey Day, let out your inner monkey. Take time to play, and remember that we’re all in this together.
Happy Monkey Day. Go be awesome.
Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary
In honor of Monkey Day, please consider making a donation to one of the many organizations that helps our simian friends. Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, located on 12 acres in Gainesville, Florida. Jungle Friends is accredited by the American Sanctuary Association and The Association of Sanctuaries. They rescue and offer a permanent, safe haven for monkeys from around the United States who have been abused, confiscated by authorities, retired from research, or who are ex-pets. At this time, Jungle Friends is the sanctuary home for 120 monkeys and we have an ever-growing waiting list.