You probably got a day off from work on January 21, 2019. But were you aware when you honored Martin Luther King's birthday, that day also marked 'National Squirrel Appreciation Day'? If you were knowledgeable, did you celebrate? It was a day to celebrate the wonder of those frantic little creatures who scamper about with enthusiasm around our cities, suburbs, parks and forests throughout the U.S..
It was a great day for those who remembered, even though that date also happened to be 'Blue Monday.' That's the day statistically is the most depressing day of the year. So, perhaps National Squirrel Appreciation Day is just the right antidote to chase away those January doldrums.
More complicated than you think . . .
Even if you consider yourself up on "all things squirrel," you may not know these curious mammals are complicated creatures.
There are three main categories of squirrels — tree squirrels, ground squirrels, and flying squirrels. But additionally, these groups are additionally broken down into many more diverse types of squirrels, including Albino, Mountain Tree, Antelope, Spotted, Grey, American Red, Douglas, Fox, Pygmy, Northern Flying, Southern, Arizona Gray, Idaho, Arctic Ground, Albert’s, Franklin, Richardson, Rock, White, and Black squirrels. That's a whole lot of squirrel variety. You can find them all around the world (except for Antarctica and Australia).
The holiday was originally founded in 2001 by wildlife rehabilitator Christy Hargrove of Asheville, North Carolina.
The word "squirrel" surfaced in 1327. It's etymology originated from the Anglo-Norman 'esquirel,' which comes from the Old French escurel. The Latin word 'sciriurus,' which was borrowed from the Ancient Greek word σκίουρος that translates to "shadow-tailed," referring to the bushy tail, which is a squirrel's distinguishing feature.
One more holiday . . .
As noted, National Squirrel Appreciation Day shares it date this with Martin Luther King and Blue Monday. But, curiously the 21st of January is also National Hug Day. So next year, a word to the wise . . . while you might want to give all of your loved ones a hug on the 21st . . . a squirrel is a critter you will want to stay your distance. Squirrels have 4 front teeth which continue to grow their entire life, so feeding them by hand is not a wise choice . . . let alone hugging them.
Primary Source: Bustle