Where the World Gathers to Celebrate Every Day

MONKEY DAY – December 14

MONKEY DAY – December 14


Every year on December 14th National Monkey Day celebrates the unique characteristics of simians. The day also focuses on other non-human primates such as apes, tarsiers, and lemurs. 

Monkeys, also known as simians, live all over the world. More than 260 species of monkeys populate Africa, Central America, South America, and Asia. They range in size from mere ounces like the pygmy marmoset to the mandrill at a heavier 80 pounds. Monkeys tend to walk on all four limbs. As a member of the primate family, they are considered a lesser ape. Most monkeys have a tail, though not all do. Monkeys are divided into two categories – Old World monkeys and New World monkeys.

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Their personalities and habits capture the attention of humans on many levels. These intelligent mammals with opposable thumbs live in family groups, too. However, many species of monkeys are endangered. Some endangered species from around the world include:

  • Indri – Found in Madagascar, this lemur faces hunting due to hunting and deforestation.
  • Roloway monkey – This bearded monkey founded in Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana lives in tropical forests. They’re hunted for their meat.
  • Western chimpanzee – Another monkey threatened by hunting, it has a larger territory. They live in the rainforests and savannahs of western Africa.
  • Ecuadorian White-Fronted Capuchin – Locals hunt them because the White-fronted Capuchins threaten local crops. The Capuchins range through Ecuador and Peru.


Discover more about these fascinating primates. Learn about monkeys who live through all kinds of weather in Nature’s Snow Monkeys. Disney’s documentary Monkey Kingdom about the monkeys of South Asia follows a family and shows us the social hierarchy that exists among the community.

Read about monkeys and their habitats. Children’s books that teach them about monkeys include:

  • Meet the Howlers! by April Pulley Sayer and illustrated by Woody Miller
  • Monkey Colors by Darrin Lunde and illustrated by Ms. Patricia J. Wynne
  • No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart

Consider donating to conservation efforts. The World Wildlife Fund combats the destruction of rainforests which is vital habitat for the black spider monkey, a vulnerable species. 

Educators and families, visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for projects and ideas to help you Celebrate Every Day!

Use #MonkeyDay to post on social media.

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A Michigan State University art student, Casey Sorrow, created National Monkey Day when he wrote Monkey Day on his friend’s calendar. A celebration followed and grew.

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