National Llama Day Date in the current year: December 9, 2024

National Llama Day If you love cute animals (and who doesn’t, really?), don’t forget to celebrate National Llama Day on December 9. This unofficial holiday was created in honor of amazing creatures that are native to the Americas and have been domesticated thousands of years ago.

The llama is a domesticated animal that belongs to the family Camelidae. Its closest relatives within the family are the alpaca, guanaco and vicuña; the three extant camel species are the llamas’ more distant relatives.

The alpaca and llama do not live in the wild anymore; they are known only in their domestic state these days. These two domesticated camelid species are often confused with one another, but there are differences that can help tell them apart: llamas are larger than alpacas, as well as have curved ears and longer heads.

It is believed that the ancestors of wild llamas originated in North America millions of years ago and subsequently migrated via Central America to South America. They are thought to have been domesticated by pre-Incan cultures. Llamas were used as beasts of burden in the Inca Empire and then by the Spanish following the Spanish colonization of the Americas.

Domesticated llamas were first brought to the United States in the late 19th century as zoo animals. However, their numbers in the US stayed low until the second half of the 20th century due to a combination of factors. American farmers began to actively breed llamas in the 1970s, and the number of llamas began to grow.

Llamas are bred mainly for their soft wool, which is generally less expensive than alpaca fiber (but a lower price does not necessarily mean lower quality in this case). It can be used to make clothes and various handicrafts.

Llamas are also used by farmers as guard animals for other livestock such as sheep or alpacas. In such a case, a single gelded (castrated) male is used to guard the flock. Finally, llamas are often exhibited at zoos and are popular petting zoo animals since well-socialized llamas are very friendly and nice to be around.

The origins of National Llama Day are unclear; it is definitely not one of the official holidays established by the Congress. Some websites claim that it was first celebrated in Canada in 1932 in order to recognize the importance of llamas following a devastating drought in Manitoba. The drought caused the deaths of many livestock, especially sheep, but llamas, accustomed to harsh climates, weren’t affected as much. However, there are no reliable sources to substantiate this claim.

Of course, the murky origins of the holiday can’t prevent animal lovers from celebrating National Llama Day. You can join the celebration by visiting a llama farm or a petting zoo, seeing some llamas at your local zoo, buying llama-themed goods, reading a book or watching a movie that features llamas, learning fun facts about llamas and sharing them with anyone who is willing to listen, and sharing cute llama photos on social media with the hashtags #NationalLlama Day and #LlamaDay to spread the word about the holiday.

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National Llama Day, unofficial holidays, environmental holidays, observances in the United States, llamas