Monkey Day Celebrates 11th Unofficial Year

Long before homo sapiens observed the miracle of oil that burned for eight days, long before they traveled under a guiding star to meet a child in a manger, long before Maulana Karenga invoked Ujama, there was a winter holiday commemorating the contributions of all our primate brothers and sisters: Monkey Day.

Well, that's not exactly true. While primates have had their day(s) for about 65 million years, Monkey Day has been celebrated as an unofficial holiday since 2000. That's when a group of Lansing area art students and their friends from Michigan State University got together and proclaimed Dec. 14 the day to celebrate all things simian.

Lansing resident and Michigan State University art student Casey Sorrow (who is actually quite a happy fellow) plays a practical joke on a friend, and scribbles "Monkey Day" on said friend's calendar -- under December 14. When that fateful day came, Sorrow and his friends were overcome with a compulsion to don simian costumes, mimic baboon cries, and hop around like a bunch of monkeys.

And thus, a tradition was born.

"Everybody loves monkeys," pontificates Sorrow. “Monkeys are great -- they make people smile. There are no bad monkeys."

Those of you about to counter with evidence damn, dirty apes, remember: Apes are not monkeys.

In commemoration of this year's holiday, the Monkey Day organizers have a roundup of the latest monkey news, and we have a slideshow of important monkeys below.

Until the next Year of the Monkey (2016), take today to monkey on!

Monkey Day 2011: Cute Monkeys From Around The Globe