Earth Day doesn’t come around until April, but you can find ways to celebrate the planet and be reminded of what we need to maintain it throughout the year. There are numerous holidays centered around the environment, conservation, and wildlife – even specific animals – so there is no shortage of planet-centric holidays, if you know where to look. Here are five holidays to remind us how precious our planet is, and five new days to establish new holiday traditions.
World Wetlands Day
Every year on February 2, you can celebrate World Wetlands Day. Since the 1700s, the world’s wetlands have been degraded by 90%, and they are being lost at a rate three times the loss of the world’s forests. Each World Wetlands Day has a theme (in 2023, for example, the theme is “Wetland Restoration”) and there is a youth photo contest attached to it. World Wetlands Day has over 100 members.
World Wildlife Day
World Wildlife Day takes place each year on March 3, to help spread awareness of world wildlife conservation. The holiday was originally proposed by Thailand, and the day is designed to focus on how wildlife is connected to the well-being of people. It is now a United Nations International Day, with events hosted all over the world.
International Polar Bear Day
It’s always fun when you discover a holiday that you’ve never known about before. Not only is it an excuse to celebrate, but it’s a way to learn – usually about other cultures, but sometimes about your own surroundings. On February 27 each year, you can celebrate International Polar Bear Day, which is all about educating people on the need to conserve polar bear habitats and awareness of their reduced numbers, due to global warming / climate change. International Polar Bear Day is often celebrated at zoos around the world.
International Migratory Bird Day
On the second Saturday of every May, International Migratory Bird Day reminds us about the birds that travel the planet looking for a change in climate, and helps us appreciate what needs to be done to conserve their numbers on this planet. The holiday is usually celebrated with some combination of bird-related activities like bird banding, bird walks and just generally learning about birds. While most of the planet celebrates on the second Saturday in May, it is celebrated on the second Saturday in October in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America.
International Day of Forests
Celebrated on March 21 each year, the International Day of Forests is all about tree-planting and learning about the conservation of our world’s forests. It is an opportunity for students, teachers, parents and anyone else to learn about climate change and how to combat it. Many places celebrate the International Day of Forests with film events, art gatherings and photography to help keep alive the awareness of our shrinking forests and the need to keep planting trees to preserve our oxygen and important wildlife habitats.