This weird holiday celebrating polar bears is an unofficial holiday that was created by Polar Bears International (PBI). PBI is the only nonprofit dedicated solely to wild polar bears, and this holiday has been celebrated since at least 2011.
Polar bears are struggling as a whole right now and their population is severely declining. They are the largest carnivores on land, but they rely on seals for food. With the seal population declining due to shorter ice seasons and melting sea ice, the lack of food is causing polar bears to wander into human territory.
The lack of food means that many polar bears are now vulnerable to many diseases that they have never before encountered. This decline in the polar bear population is why PBI created this holiday.
Did you know that polar bears are actually black, and not white? Their fur is completely transparent and their skin is black! The fur then reflects the sunlight in such a way that human eyes interpret it as white.
Polar bears can reach a height of 9 feet and a weight of 1,400 pounds. They are strong swimmers because their front paws are webbed slightly. They are also considered to all be left-handed. The Inuit term for polar bear is “nanuq.”
A rare jawbone in Norway that was discovered in 2004 leads scientists to believe that polar bears have been around for over 150,000 years. Their existence is vital to a balanced ecosystem in the Arctic.
In the 1700s, hunters from North Ameria, Russia, and Europe began to significantly eradicate the species. At the time, there were no regulations, and this also began to affect the indigenous peoples living in the northernmost parts of the world.
The first polar bear was documented in 1774 when Constantine John Phipps wrote an official report about his trip to the North Pole in 1773.
It wasn’t until 1973 that Denmark, Norway, the United States, and the USSR signed the International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears and Their Habitat. This agreement marked polar bears as endangered in the United States, and it allowed the regulation and enforcement of commercial hunting of polar bears.
The PBI was later formed in 1994. Later, the International Union for Conservation of Nature classified polar bears as “vulnerable,” which means that the polar bear population could decline by over 1/3 within three generations. In 2008, they became considered “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.
Ideas for International Polar Bear Day
Here are some ideas on how to celebrate polar bears.
The Polar Bear Shot recipe combines together the flavors of peppermint and chocolate to bring you one yummy shot for Interational Polar Bear Day. Since it’s made with chocolate liqueur and mint liqueur, it is the perfect flavor combination. Make this polar bear cocktail for just yourself or a whole group.
This Polar Bear Life Cycle Worksheet is perfect for your kids on Interational Polar Bear Day! It includes everything they need to learn about the different stages of a polar bear’s life. From birth to adulthood, your child will be able to follow along and learn all about these amazing creatures.
These Cinnamon Polar Bears are festive and fun Interational Polar Bear Day cookies. Dusted with powdered sugar, the soft and fluffy bears have adorable faces complete with cinnamon candy noses and chocolate chip eyes.
These Fudgy Chocolate Bear Paw Cookies are so easy and fun to make on Interational Polar Bear Day! Chocolate cake mix cookies feature chopped walnuts, gooey melted caramel, and chocolate chips on top for the cutest ever paws!
These wintery fresh Polar Bear Paw Cookies are a delightfully fun addition to your Interational Polar Bear Day cookie trays! The mint chocolate combination with chewy coconut is perfection and you don't even need fancy decorating skills.
This adorable polar bear cub is sitting on a glacier made with the letters of the child’s name. It’s a fun way for kids to celebrate International Polar Bear Day and to practice recognizing the letters in their names.
This Polar Bear Paper Plate Craft is the perfect winter-themed craft project on International Polar Bear Day for kids of all ages. These adorable polar bears are sure to bring smiles and give you hours of quality family time.
These no-bake Polar Bear Paws Recipe are the perfect sweet and salty treat, filled with roasted nuts and caramel, then coated in silky white chocolate. Perfect for International Polar Bear Day, the holidays, and gift giving or the summer months when you don’t want to turn on the oven!
These no-bake Polar Bear Oreo cookies are perfect for a kids International Polar Bear Day party! They’re done in under an hour, and require just 5 simple ingredients. They’re also great to add some fun and color to your holiday cookie tray!