When the weather outside is frightful, that means some of the best holidays have come around. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are just around the corner, but they aren’t the only fun things to celebrate this winter. One of our favorite minor holidays is National Llama Day! Every year on December 9th, the nation celebrates these adorable and feisty creatures who have won over the hearts of so many in America.
Llamas are amazing helpers!
Llamas were domesticated thousands of years ago in Peru and the Andes Mountains. Their ability to navigate through rocky terrain at high altitudes made them perfect for aiding those who traveled the area with large loads of goods to sell. The people who cared for them also learned that their fleece was excellent for making textiles and fabrics.
This holiday gets a little silly.
Though we are not certain exactly when this holiday started, it is speculated to have been officially celebrated in 1932 in Canada. Since then, National Llama Day has spread and expanded. From dressing up like llamas, carving butter statues into the shape of these fabulous creatures, and sending “llamatines” to loved ones, the day is full of fun and excitement for one of the most beloved and adored animals.
You may not want to dress up as a llama to celebrate this holiday, but you may like to do something else. Here are some fun things to do all winter long to keep up that llamazing spirit!
Read a Book
There are so many llama books to read! If you come by the library, the Children’s Department has a special book display for all things llama! Here are some of our favorites.
Llama Llama book series by Anna Dewdney
These books explore many of the worries and thoughts of children. Sometimes it is easier to talk about the fear of a new school or the want to stay up at bedtime through the safety of animal characters. These stories tackle challenges in a charming way that make kids want to keep reading!
Agent Llama by Angela Woolfe
What’s cooler than a secret agent who is also a llama? Readers follow Charlie as she thwarts villains and solves mysteries! If you love this book, Charlie comes back in a second picture book where she meets her match – an alpaca! Check out her cool moves in Agent Llama: Double Trouble in our new books section!
Visit a Petting Zoo or Ranch
Zoos are wonderful places to see animals that people may not get to see too often. The best zoos create habitats that resemble animals’ natural habitats so closely that they could even fool people! Llamas aren’t at a lot of the ordinary zoos that one might normally go to, but they are often part of petting zoos.
Finding a petting zoo can be difficult. Many events have traveling petting zoos where you can meet chickens, ponies, and of course llamas! If you are looking for something with more llama llove, you may want to find a llama ranch or farm. These places are dedicated to all things llama! If you don’t mind a day journey, Figment Ranch is one of the most successful llama ranches in Texas. You can tour the ranch or even have your own birthday party there!
Do a llama craft (or 16!)
Get creative by making something new to show your llama-ppreciation. Check out sites like Kids Craft Room (https://kidscraftroom.com/fun-llama-crafts-for-kids/) to see a bunch of different things that you and your kids can do.
Some of our favorite options are making llama finger puppets, headbands, and paper crafts! You could even do some other crafting out of llama fabric and material!
Participate in some of the more traditional National Llama Day Activities
People have observed this holiday in many ways. Here are some of the interesting activities that people have done throughout the years (including those sillier ones from the beginning!)
- Dress up like a llama – You could dress up in a full costume or you could wear a shirt with llamas!
- Carve a llama-shaped statue – This may have been out of butter for the original celebrators, but you could make your statue out of anything that you wanted. Clay is great for sculpting!
- Play Pin-the-Tail on the Llama! – You could purchase a set from a party store or make your own. You could paint on some leftover cardboard or old boxes!
- Make and give out Llamatines cards – You could do llama-themed Valentine’s Day cards or any kind of card with llamas on it. Your family and friends will probably love to get cards whenever you want to give them!
- Have a feast! – Llamas love to eat, and so do people, though we may have different food preferences. Llamas tend to prefer grass and other plants, so if you plan a meal, you may want to include your favorite foods instead!
- Learn about llamas – There are plenty of books and websites with information on these cool animals. Take some time to learn more about how they really are!