An unofficial day called World Monkey Day is observed on December 14 every year. It raises awareness about monkeys and other non-human primates like apes, tarsiers, and lemurs. It is also known as International Monkey Day. The day was created by Casey Sorrow and Eric Millikin in 2000. They started the day when they were college students at Michigan State University.
Casey had written Monkey Day on the calendar of a friend as a prank. However, he and his friends celebrated the day with other art students at their university. The day started getting recognition when Casey and Eric started including it in the Fetus-X comic strip. They then started mentioning it online and even collaborated with other artists to go international. Reportedly, Casey maintains a Monkeys in the News blog, which keeps a record of the news related to primates around the world.
Apart from the US, where this day originated, International Monkey Day started gaining popularity in other countries as well, such as India, Canada, Germany, UK, Colombia, Thailand, Pakistan etc.
World Monkey Day is celebrated mostly by environmentalists and animal rights activists to raise awareness about the issues of the primates. It is also celebrated by animal enthusiasts who wish to learn more about monkeys and other primates.
The celebrations for International Monkey Day involve art fundraising, zoo events, parties etc. On this day, the children are educated about monkeys and their habitats. With the help of competitive activities, information about monkeys is shared with children. For instance, a zoo in Lahore, Pakistan celebrated the day by making children participate in a drawing competition and wearing monkey masks. Reportedly, zoos in Edinburgh and Visakhapatnam in India also organised World Monkey Day to talk about conservation.
Apart from events at zoos, some countries hold art exhibitions to spread awareness about the animal. On World Monkey Day, funds are also raised for the betterment of the primates.