National Yo-Yo Day Date in the current year: June 6, 2022

National Yo-Yo Day National Yo-Yo Day is observed annually on June 6. It celebrates an iconic toy that has been around for millennia, although the yo-yo in its modern form has been produced since the early 20th century.

yo-yo, sometimes also spelled yoyo, is a toy that consists of two discs connected by an axle, and a string looped around the axle. A player holds the free end of the string by inserting a finger into a slip knot, allows gravity to spin the toy and unwind the string, and then lets the yo-yo wind itself back to the player’s hand. It is the simplest way to yo-yo; experienced players (yo-yoers) can perform various tricks with the toy.

The yo-yo has been around since at least the 5th century BC. There is a Greek vase from 440 BC depicting a boy playing with a terracotta (fired clay) yo-yo. According to Greek records, yo-yos could be made out of clay, metal, or wood. Clay toys were offered to certain gods during coming-of-age ceremonies, while metal or wood yo-yos were used for actual play.

The first company that manufactured modern yo-yos was opened in 1928 by Pedro Flores, a Filipino immigrant to the United States. Shortly thereafter, he sold the company and all its assets to Donald F. Duncan Sr., the founder and owner of the Duncan Toys Company.

Duncan’s name has become so closely associated with the yo-yo that he is often miscredited with having invented the toy. However, he did popularize the yo-yo throughout the country by holding yo-yo competitions. Duncan was also the first to trademark the name “yo-yo”, but in 1965, a federal court ruling that yo-yo was no longer a trademarked term due to having become a part of common speech.

The popularity of yo-yos began to decline after World War II, but the toy experienced a new surge of popularity during the 1970s and 1980s, in part, due to various innovations such as the emergence of yo-yos with ball bearings that make it possible to perform longer and more complex yo-yo tricks.

National Yo-Yo Day was created by Daniel Volk in 1990. Primarily known for his paddle ball tricks, Volk used to work for the Duncan Toys Company as a yo-yo demonstrator and toured the Western United States with marketing demonstrations. He chose the date of June 6 to commemorate the birthday of Donald F. Duncan Sr., the founder of the Duncan Toys Company.

How to celebrate National Yo-Yo Day? If you don’t have a yo-yo, this is your cue to buy one and learn a couple of tricks. If you do have a yo-yo and already have a couple of tricks up your sleeve, National Yo-Yo Day is the perfect occasion to start or expand your yo-yo collection, learn a new tricks, teach someone a trick or two, host a yo-yo competition with your friends. If you live nearby or are willing to go on a road trip, you can attend the National Yo-Yo Museum in Chico, California.

And don’t forget to post a photo of your yo-yo collection or a video of yourself demonstrating yo-yo tricks on social media with the hashtag #NationalYoYoDay to spread the word about the holiday and encourage others to celebrate.

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Category

Unofficial Holidays

Country

USA

Tags

National Yo-Yo Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the United States, Pedro Flores, Donald F. Duncan, Daniel Volk