National Wear Your Pearls Day
annually on December 15th (since 2016)
DeAnna Bookert in 2015
Created by author and motivational speaker DeAnna Bookert, National Wear Your Pearls Day reminds us that out of the many trials and tragedies that come in life, beauty is often created, just as how a pearl starts as an irritant in a mollusk but ends up becoming a precious gem. Pearls come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, just as people face many different trials in their lives, and pearls develop layer by layer, just as people become stronger as they grow and work to protect themselves. Bookert started the "annual depression and anxiety awareness campaign" because she saw pearls as representing her own life story and struggle with depression, and she wanted to help those going through similar circumstances as herself. Pearls are worn today more than just to show off one's style. As Bookert has said of her own observance of the day, "I wear pearls as a reminder that I have purpose and value."
Pearls are formed by some mollusks—including some saltwater and freshwater oysters, as well as by some freshwater clams—when they defend themselves from intruders by secreting a substance, mother-of-pearl, from their mantle, an organ that covers the inside of their shells. Although tradition says pearls are formed from sand or dirt particles, the irritant most often is a parasitic organism that has burrowed its way into the mollusk's soft tissues and organs. After being covered by three or four layers a day for at least two years of the extremely thin mother-of-pearl, the parasite becomes a pearl.
The color of a pearl depends on the mollusk and its environment. There are many different shades, from white to black and everything in between. The smallest pearls are called seed pearls, while the largest are baroque pearls, which are irregularly shaped pearls. Pearls from saltwater mollusks are often known as Oriental pearls, while pearls from freshwater mollusks are simply called freshwater pearls. Pearls are valuable because they are quite rare, with only about one in 10,000 mollusks that are capable of producing pearls actually doing so. The more luster a pearl has and more perfectly shaped it is, the more value it has. Pearls are most often found on necklaces and other jewelry. On National Wear Your Pearls Day, pearls are worn not only as a fashion statement but to display the resilience and inner strength of those who wear them.
How to Observe National Wear Your Pearls Day
Celebrate the day by wearing pearls! Wear them not just to show you are fashionable, but as a symbol of your inner strength and beauty, to remind yourself of your value no matter your current circumstances, and to raise awareness about anxiety and depression. If you don't have any pearls, today is the perfect day to buy them! Although they are more often associated with feminine attire, today is just as much for men as it is for women. While celebrating, you could do a photoshoot of yourself and others wearing pearls, and post photos on social media using the hashtag #NationalWearYourPearlsDay.