National Tattoo Day Date in the current year: July 17, 2024

National Tattoo Day National Tattoo Day is observed annually on July 17. It was created to recognize the history and cultural significance of tattoos, as well as to celebrate the talented tattoo artists across the nation.

A tattoo is a form of body modification made by inserting special ink, dye, and/or pigment into the dermis (the middle layer of skin) to form a design. Tattooing has been practiced around the world for millennia, since at least the Neolithic times. The word tattoo itself derives from the Polynesian word tautau, which means “to strike”. Before its introduction, a bunch of different terms were used in the West to describe the process and result of tattooing.

Ancient tattooing was practiced among all subgroups of the Austronesian people, Papuans, Melanesians, the Ainu ethnic group of Japan, some Austroasians in Southeast Asia, the Berber people in North Africa, several native ethnic groups in West Africa, the Indigenous peoples of the pre-Columbian Americas, and the Picts of Iron Age Britain.

The modern popularity of tattooing in the West is usually linked to the three voyages of Captain James Cook in the late 18th century. Many of Cook’s officers returned to England with a keen interest in tattoos, and some even got tattooed themselves. In the United States, tattoos became fashionable among upper-class young men soon after the Civil War. The invention of the electric tattoo machine in the late 19th century revolutionized the industry, making tattooing less painful and more accessible.

Throughout their entire history, tattoos have served many purposes, with their symbolism and impact varying in different cultures. They have served as marks of rank and status, rites of passage, spiritual and religious symbols, amulets and talismans, symbols of bravery, and even as punishment, like the marks of convicts, slaves, and outcasts.

In the modern world, people may choose to get tattooed for artistic, cosmetic (including permanent makeup), memorial/sentimental, spiritual, and religious reasons. Other reasons for getting a tattoo include to symbolize one’s identification with or belonging to a particular group (ethnic group, subculture, etc.), and for functional purposes such as to provide medical information (for example, blood type and RhD status).

The origins of National Tattoo Day are unclear, but the holiday seems to have been around since at least 2016. There are many ways to celebrate this amazing holiday. If you have tattoos, you can share photos of your tattoos and the stories behind them on social media with #NationalTattooDay (and don’t forget to tag your tattoo artist and give them a shout-out!).

If you have been thinking about getting a tattoo for some time, it is a great day to choose a design or finally book an appointment with a tattoo artist. However, we would advise against getting a tattoo on a whim: this is something that will stay with your for the rest of your life, so it is important to weigh all the pros and cons, as well as to make sure that the design is exactly what you want.

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National Tattoo Day, observances in the United States, unofficial holidays, history of tattoos, significance of tattoos