December 14 is Monkey Day. The day celebrates monkeys and all other primate cousins of humans such as apes, chimpanzees, and gibbons.
While the origins of Monkey Day are not known, there are many theories as to why this holiday was created. Some sources suggest that it started as a prank by some college students, while others suggest that it was started by people who wanted to raise awareness about monkeys, their habitats, and their role in the environment.
Many Different Species
Monkeys are primates that usually live in trees and are active during the day. There are about 260 different species of monkeys around the world. Scientists classify monkeys into two different categories - old world monkeys found in Asia and Africa and new world monkeys found in the Americas.
Believed to be highly intelligent animals, monkeys can vary in size. The smallest monkey, the pygmy marmoset is about 5 inches (13 cm) tall, while the largest, the mandrill can grow up to 3 feet (1 m) in height.
Special Status in Many Cultures
In many parts of the world, monkeys are revered and worshiped as gods. The monkey is the animal representing the 9th year in the 12 year cycles of the Chinese Calendar.
How to Celebrate?
Learn more about monkeys and non-human primates.
Donate your time and money to a non-profit organization that works to conserve and preserve monkey and simian environments.
Visit your local zoo to observe monkeys, apes, and other primates.
Watch Planet of the Apes and other movies with simian characters.
Did You Know…
…that monkeys went into space before humans did? The first primate to go to space was called Albert II, a rhesus monkey.