Saturday, January 15, 2011

January 16th is Appreciate a Dragon Day!

Dragons. One little word that conjures up a variety of things to a variety of people. Some of us believe they exist, and some don't. But whether you're in the Heck-Yeah-They-Exist camp, or the Whatta-Buncha-Hooey camp, I think we can all agree that there's a ton of stuff to be found on these creatures - real or not.

References to dragons can be found in myth, in legend, in literature, in song, in art, in films, in toys, and even in video games. They are depicted in various forms: cute, hideous, good, evil, smart, stupid, helpful, stubborn, frightening, harmless, winged, wingless, ancient, contemporary, and everything in between. And oh, the things they can (and can't) do: Some can fly and others can't. Some can talk, and some can breathe fire, and some can do both, and some can do neither, and some can even converse with each other - and with people - telepathically. They have reared their controversial heads in cultures stretching from East to West, and North to South.

Yet whether revered, or feared, or merely tolerated, dragons have captured the hearts and imaginations of people all over the world. So much so, in fact, that dragons have their own official holiday:

Appreciate a Dragon Day

Observed every year on January 16th, Appreciate a Dragon Day is the brainchild of children's author Donita K. Paul, who created the holiday as part of the celebration of the release of her middle grade novel, DragonSpell, in 2004. Since that initial celebration, Appreciate a Dragon Day ( or AADD, for short) has continued, with everyone from kids to adults to public libraries joining in the fun.

Wondering how you can join in the festivities? Here are a few ideas from AADD's creator:
  • Make dragon puppets, and then put on a puppet show for family, friends, and/or neighbors.
  • Create drawings, sculptures, stories, poems, or some other creative endeavor featuring dragons.
  • Grab your camera, and your stuffed dragon (you do have one, don't you?), and get creative: take photos of your dragon in funny places - eating at a restaurant, reading a book, waiting at a bus stop, etc.

Here are a few more from Julie Darleen Durr's AADD article:
  • Design and create dragon jewelry.
  • Make up and play dragon games.
  • Create a dragon song, or a rap - or both.
  • Go outside and build a snow dragon.

And here are a few from me:
  • If you don't have snow, and you're at the beach (you lucky, lucky soul), then how about building a sand dragon? 
  • Make and decorate dragon sugar cookies.
  • Watch movies with dragons in them. (Pete's Dragon comes to mind, or Mulan, or Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Or How to Train Your Dragon.)
  • Check out your local public library. Are they doing anything to celebrate? And while you're there...
  • Read some dragon books. We here at Chez Wheedleton have a fair collection of them, if you need some ideas to get you started:

However you choose to celebrate, we here at Chez Wheedleton wish you luck in finding a fun way to appreciate a dragon tomorrow. We certainly appreciate ours*:

*(His name is Smurf. He's very sweet. And he hardly ever singes the carpet.)

Appreciate a Dragon Day - Donita K. Paul
Appreciate a Dragon Day - Furries Online
Celebrate Appreciate a Dragon Day - Associated Content (Julie Darleen Durr)