Appreciate a Dragon Day
annually on January 16th (since 2004)
Donita K. Paul in 2004
Appreciate a Dragon Day, created by author Donita K. Paul for the release of her book DragonSpell, celebrates dragons in popular literature, as well as literacy in general. It is marked by the reading of books that feature dragons, and the celebration of dragons through art. Individuals, schools, and libraries often take part in the day. Although the day is geared towards children, anyone can celebrate it!
Dragons are mythological lizard or snake-like monsters, often depicted as breathing fire, and having large wings and barbed tails. Some are also depicted as having multiple heads. Their name comes from the Greek word "drakōn," which was a name for giant sea serpents. Particularly in the Middle East, and largely in the Greek and Roman worlds, dragons have historically been portrayed as being evil, although the latter two groups have ascribed some positive characteristics to them.
In the Far East, such as in China and Japan, dragons have largely been looked on positively. In China, a dragon called "lung" had positive attributes and represented the yang of yin and yang. A dragon was the emblem of the imperial family and was on the Chinese flag for a time. Throughout history, dragons have also been used as warlike emblems, appearing on shields and ships.
How to Observe Appreciate a Dragon Day
According to the creator of the day, dragons may be appreciated by choosing your favorite one from literature and sharing about it using art. She suggests making "drawings, sketches, paintings, sculptures, poems, an additional story that might also have happened to this dragon, a song, a play, or a comic strip." If you work at a public or school library you could host events related to dragons today, and if you are a teacher you could integrate dragons into your lesson plans.
Today is also an excellent day to read a book that features dragons. Here are a few examples of books you could read:
- The Hobbit
- Puff the Magic Dragon
- How to Train Your Dragon
- The White Dragon
- His Majesty's Dragon
- A Dance With Dragons