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Monkey Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated internationally on December 14. 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.
The holiday was started in 2000 by Casey Sorrow, then artist of the popular comic Fetus-X, and first celebrated by Lansing residents and art students at Michigan State University. There has been an annual Monkey Day Web Comic Marathon since 2004 with comics including Rob Balder’s PartiallyClips, David Malki’s Wondermark, Eric Millikin’s Fetus-X, and Sorrow’s own Feral Calf. Sorrow also maintains a comprehensive “Monkeys in the News” blog with stories on topics like monkey attacks, monkey smuggling, and monkey science.
In 2005, Peter Jackson’s King Kong was released on the fifth anniversary of Monkey Day.
In 2008, the official Monkey Day celebration was a silent art auction to benefit Chimps Inc., which included paintings from chimps Jackson and Kimie, residents of the Chimps Inc. primate 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.