National Tattoo Day

For many years, tattoos were considered a taboo practice. During the 19th through the mid-20th centuries, tattoos were seen as something that only sailors or criminals would have on their skin.

Fortunately, times have changed, and more people are embracing artwork. That’s why there’s no better time for people to celebrate National Tattoo Day—a holiday that falls on July 17th annually.

The History of Tattoos

Even though we were unable to uncover the history of National Tattoo Day, we did conduct some extensive research on the origins of the tattoo. In this section, we’re going to talk about when people first began tattooing themselves and others, and the evolution of tattoos through the years. And we’re going to begin our journey with

Scientists at one time thought that the earliest tattoos were from approximately 2,000 B.C., or about 4,000 years ago. However, in 1991, scientists discovered the now-famous “Iceman,” a man with tattoos who lived approximately 5,200 years ago.

Since several figurines and tomb scenes from approximately 4,000 BC depict women with tattoos, it’s probably reasonable to say that tattooing wasn’t something done exclusively by men but was also done by women.

Skipping ahead a few hundred years, it’s easy to see how modern Western tattooing was influenced by Captain James Cook’s voyages during the 1770s. Although tattooing was already present at this time in Western society, it wasn’t very popular. Captain Cook’s voyages did increase the popularity of this art form.

As far as professional tattooing goes, the first professional tattooer was probably Martin Hildebrandt—an immigrant from Germany who tattooed soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865. A quarter of a century later, Samuel O’Reilly patented the first electric tattoo machine in 1891.

It wouldn’t be until the late 1950s that the art of tattooing would go through a true renaissance. This is when influential artists such as Don Ed Hardy, Cliff Raven, and Lyle Tuttle not only did extensive tattooing work but also trained the next generation of artists. Nowadays, tattooing has become commonplace, and much of the stigma that was attached to it is gone.

Celebrating National Tattoo Day

National Tattoo Day is a good day to get a new tattoo, thank a tattoo artist for a piece you’ve already received, or to look through some of the incredible pieces of skin art that exist on the Internet. Speaking of the Internet, if you have a tattoo, then you might want to share it on your social media accounts using the hashtag #NationalTattooDay.

Show the skin art that you’re proud of and exclaim to the world that you’re celebrating this holiday. After all, tattoos have been around for thousands of years, and they’re likely to be around well into the future.

When is it?
This year (2024)
July 17 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
July 17 Thursday
Last year (2023)
July 17 Monday
Art & Entertainment, Lifestyle