Shake and Freeze Day Date in the current year: December 21, 2024

Shake and Freeze Day If you see a person wearing shorts in the cold, you will probably think they are not in their right mind. But before labeling them as crazy, check the date. If it is December 21, they are probably celebrating Shake and Freeze Day and raising awareness of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease, often shortened to simply Parkinson’s, is a slowly developing long-term neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects motor function. Its most common and obvious symptoms include muscle stiffness, tremor, gait abnormality, and slowness of movement. Non-motor symptoms and associated conditions may include behavioral and cognitive problems, apathy, anxiety, depression, sensory problems, and sleep problems.

The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but researchers believe it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The average onset is after the age of 60, and the average life expectancy of those diagnosed with Parkinson’s is about 7–15 years. The disease may have an early onset; for example, actor Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 29.

The Shake and Freeze awareness and fundraising campaign was created by a mother and daughter who had eight family members diagnosed with Parkinson’s. They took care of both their parents/grandparents in their home for over 13 years and launched their campaign to educate the general public about Parkinson’s and raise funds for charities dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease and supporting Parkinson’s patients such as The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

But why is the campaign called Shake and Freeze? As we’ve already mentioned, Parkinson’s disease mainly affects the motor system; its most common symptoms include tremors (involuntary muscle contractions, i.e. shaking) and freezing of gait, i.e. brief episodes when a person can’t walk because their feet seem to get stuck on the floor.

Those who participate in the Shake and Freeze campaign wear shorts on the shortest day of the year (see the pun here?) and shake and freeze in the cold so that one day patients with Parkinson’s won’t have to because a cure will have been found thanks to awareness campaigns and fundraising efforts. Wearing shorts in the cold is eye-catching, and so the founders of Shake and Freeze Day hope it will bring attention to their cause.

In addition to being the shortest day of the year, December 21 is the death anniversary of James Parkinson, an English doctor who was the first to describe the disease, so the date has a double symbolism. By the way, Parkinson’s birthday, April 11, is observed annually as World Parkinson’s Day.

The best way to observe Shake and Freeze Day is to join the campaign and wear shorts to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease and the importance of finding a cure. However, it’s alright if you can’t or don’t want to; you can contribute without literally shaking and freezing. Ways to contribute include donating to any Parkinson’s disease charity or crowdfunding campaign you would like to support, organizing a community event to raise Parkinson’s awareness, volunteering at your local assisted living facility, and spreading the word about the campaign on social media with the hashtag #ShakeAndFreeze.

Remind me with Google Calendar


Anniversaries and Memorial Days



Shake and Freeze Day, Parkinson’s disease, awareness campaign, observances in the US, Parkinson’s awareness