National Day of the Cowboy Date in the current year: July 27, 2024

National Day of the Cowboy There is a common misconception that the cowboy culture has almost faded into oblivion in the modern age, but this is not true. Cowboys have simply adapted to the modern world while preserving many of their classic traditions. National Day of the Cowboy, observed annually on the fourth Saturday of July, was created to celebrate cowboy culture and history.

According to Cambridge Dictionary, a cowboy is “a person, especially in the western US, whose job is to take care of the cattle, and who usually rides a horse”. While this definition is technically correct, an American cowboy is so much more than simply a cattle herder. Cowboys are among the most iconic figures in American culture.

The roots of cowboy culture can be traced back to medieval Spain with its system of ranches called haciendas. The hacienda system was brought to the Americas by conquistadors and other Spanish settlers. They also brought horses that became crucial to the success of haciendas. Over time, Spanish horse-mounted herders developed into vaqueros with their distinct culture. Vaqueros, in turn, became foundation for cowboys.

Distinct cowboy culture of the American West evolved around the mid-19th century; due to geographical and cultural reasons, some states developed their own regional cowboy traditions. The cowboy lifestyle was greatly romanticized by the traveling Wild West shows of the 1870s-1920s and Western movies.

Over time, cowboys have become an important part of American culture. Outside of the United States, however, they are primarily associated with people dressed in Western clothing, regardless of whether they have ever ridden a horse or worked on a ranch or not.

National Day of the Cowboy originated in Wyoming in 2005. The National Day of the Cowboy organization, a non-profit that works to preserve America’s cowboy heritage, sponsored a bill in the state house and senate to establish a holiday dedicated to cowboys that would celebrate and preserve cowboy history and culture.

The bill passed, and a number of other states followed suit. As of 2019, 15 states had passed a permanent bill establishing National Day of the Cowboy and signed it into law: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming.

National Day of the Cowboy events are hosted by ranches, cowboy heritage centers and museums, and other establishments and organizations that preserve and promote cowboy culture. These events include parades, rodeos, various contests and competitions, demonstrations and workshops, concerts and shows, guider tours, and more.

If there are no National Day of the Cowboy events and activities near you and you can’t afford to travel, you can celebrate the holiday by learning more about cowboy culture, watching a Western, throwing a cowboy-themed party for your friends, donating to the National Day of the Cowboy organization, and raising awareness about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #NationalDayOfTheCowboy.

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National Day of the Cowboy, professional holidays, cultural observances, observances in the United States, cowboy culture