Turtles are beautiful, fascinating creatures beloved by many people around the world. But many species of turtles are facing unprecedented challenges thanks to climate change, habitat loss, and collection for the pet trade.
To highlight the challenges facing turtles across the globe and to raise awareness for their plight, a few turtle days have been established. These events are backed by organizations that truly care about these wonderful animals and want to make a difference.
In this article, we’ll take a look at these three turtle holidays, delving into what they are, when they’re held, and a few facts about each event.
1. World Turtle Day
What is World Turtle Day?
World Turtle Day is an event that was established by the American Tortoise Rescue organization. The main goal of World Turtle Day is to make people aware of the problems faced by many turtle species across the world.
The event is celebrated all around the world in various ways, from encouraging people to dress up as turtles to bringing education about turtles into schools. Fundraising is also a huge part of World Turtle Day, with funds being donated to turtle charities across the globe.
When is World Turtle Day held?
World Turtle Day has been held on the 23rd of May every year since 2000 when the event was first established.
About World Turtle Day
American Tortoise Rescue is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing and rehoming turtles as well as educating people about the dangers that turtles face.
The organization was founded by Marshall Thompson and Susan Tellem in 1990 and is based in Malibu, California. Since founding the organization, Marshall and Susan have rescued more than 4000 turtles and tortoises.
In 2000, the duo began celebrating World Turtle Day on the 23rd of May to help raise awareness for turtles. The holiday has since spread across the globe and is celebrated by thousands of people every year.
There are several ways to contribute to World Turtle Day. One of the best ways is to volunteer time and energy to a nearby turtle rescue center or sanctuary. This could range from helping to feed injured turtles to releasing them back into the wild.
Fundraising is also a crucial way to contribute. Many people dress up as turtles to raise money or participate in charity or fundraising events. Education is another huge part, with events in schools to help children learn about these fascinating creatures.
2. World Sea Turtle Day
What is World Sea Turtle Day?
Sea turtles are some of the largest and most beautiful turtles in the world, ranging in size from the Kemp’s Ridley Sea turtle to the huge Leatherback Sea turtle.
However, Sea turtles face perhaps the greatest threats of any turtle species, with climate change and huge amounts of plastic in the ocean and on their nesting beaches being the main dangers.
World Sea Turtle Day was established by the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) organization. The event’s goal is to raise awareness about the plight faced by Sea turtles, all of which are classed as at least Endangered or Threatened.
When is World Sea Turtle Day held?
World Sea Turtle Day is held on the 16th of June every year. This date was chosen to honor the STC’s founder, Dr. Archie Carr. As an experienced writer and naturalist, Carr’s findings and studies began to open the world’s eyes to the struggles faced by Sea turtles.
About World Sea Turtle Day
World Sea Turtle Day is celebrated all around the world in various ways. People might attend lectures about Sea turtles or even watch hatchlings emerge from well-known nesting beaches, making their way to the sea in their thousands.
Fundraising is also a crucial element of World Sea Turtle Day, with participants and supporters taking part in various events to raise money for Sea turtle charities and organizations. Education plays a key role as well, teaching kids in schools about the problems that Sea turtles face and how we can act to combat these issues.
3. Velas Turtle Festival
What is the Velas Turtle Festival?
The Velas Turtle Festival is an ecotourism event that centers around the hatching of Ridley turtle eggs. Velas is a small village on India’s western coast. It is located in the Ratnagiri district of the state of Maharashtra. The area is about five hours drive from Mumbai.
When is the Velas Turtle Festival held?
There isn’t a fixed date for the Velas Turtle Festival because hatching dates for Ridley Sea turtle eggs can vary. It usually runs from the end of February through into April.
About the Velas Turtle Festival
The Velas Turtle Festival began in 2006 and was started by conservation organization Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra. The organization was founded in 1992 and campaigns for the conservation of animals such as pangolins and Sea turtles.
As a local festival, several other ecotourism events pop up around the same time as the Velas Turtle Festival. Many locals take this opportunity to show off their cuisine and culture to the visitors who arrive for the festival. All the events are organized by local people who have lived alongside these turtles for years.
Most of the festival revolves around watching Ridley Sea turtle hatchlings emerge from their eggs to make their journey to the waters of the Indian Ocean. It’s a once in a lifetime experience!
Those are the top turtle holidays in the world in a nutshell. There may be plenty more independent annual holiday events, but this was all we were able to find for the moment.
Do you know of more holidays around turtle and tortoise conservation? Maybe you are running one of these events. If so, let us know in the comments below, or email us at [email protected] We are looking to expand the list and to spread the word about all conservation efforts.