International Mermaid Day
International Mermaid Day is a holiday that people can celebrate on March 29th every year. Yes, this is a holiday dedicated to the mythical half-woman, half-fish creatures that have been featured in stories by fishermen for thousands of years.
This creature has usually been associated with beauty and wonder but has also historically been linked to floods, shipwrecks, storms, and drownings. The name “mermaid” is a compound of two Old English words.
These words are “mere,” which means “sea,” and “maid,” which means a young woman or girl. These “maids of the sea” continue to enchant us even today, so perhaps this is a holiday that people will want to celebrate.
The History of International Mermaid Day
Tales of mermaids likely date back to even before written language. We’re sure there were tales of half-fish women who swam in rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans. However, the first written records of mermaids only date back to 1000 B.C.
Mermaids were described by the Assyrians in their folklore. According to legend, the fertility goddess Atargatis became a mermaid when she threw herself into a lake to try to escape the shame and guilt of accidentally killing her lover.
The Assyrian tales of mermaids would influence the stories of other cultures. The ancient Greeks continued the tales of mermaids by talking about the Nereids. These sea nymphs, or female spirits of the ocean, were the daughters of the Old Man of the Sea, Nereus, and Oceanid Doris.
They are often depicted as accompanying the Greek god Poseidon. These creatures could be helpful to sailors, but often these stories carried a stern warning: although mermaids were beautiful, they could also be deadly.
Even though we’re quite familiar with the tale of mermaids throughout history, we can’t say that we’re all that familiar with this holiday. We currently are unsure who invented it or why. Obviously, this was a holiday created by someone who loved mermaids, but beyond that, we simply can’t fathom the depths of this holiday’s history.
Observing International Mermaid Day
Mermaid lovers around the world can rejoice! There is now a holiday that allows them to explore their favorite mythological aquatic femme fatales.
This can be done by sharing mermaid stories, watching mermaid movies, or even enjoying a Drunken Mermaid Cocktail — a cocktail made with vodka, blue curacao, simple syrup, lime juice, and watermelon hard seltzer. Mermaid lovers can also take the time to spread their love for this holiday around the globe by using the hashtag #InternationalMermaidDay on social media.