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National Polka Dot Day (January 22)

Check out the weird holiday National Polka Dot Day on January 22. Learn the history of polka dots, as well as get ideas on how to celebrate.

One weird holiday on January 22 is National Polka Dot Day. Check out the other weird January holidays!

History of National Polka Dot Day

Polka dots were introduced to society in 1950s and went by many names, including Swiss Dots. Then in 1857, when the word first appeared the Philadelphia women’s magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book.

In medieval Europe, polka dot patterns reminded people of the plague, so they were eschewed as being unpleasant and representing impurity. Among the Lega people, however, polka dots are seen as symbols of male virility.

Polka Dots first caught the attention of the entire world when Miss America wore a polka dot swimsuit in 1926. Since then, they have become symbols of childhood and overall cheer and happiness.

In 1928, Minnie Mouse made her debut on the film Steamboat Willie with Mickey Mouse. She was NOT wearing her trademark polka dot dress, but since then she has become a representative of polka dots. Minnie Mouse’s dress was inspired by the 1920s flapper girls.

In 1934, Shirley Temple appeared in the movie Stand Up and Cheer wearing a frilly red-on-white polka dot dress. Marilyn Monroe later wore polka dots in Seven Year Itch, and Julia Roberts worse polka dot in Pretty Woman.

The song “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” has been sung by a variety of artists, but most people remember it as a Frank Sinatra song. It has also been performed by John Denver, Barry Manilow, and Sarah Vaughn.

Another popular song about polka dots is “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” which was sung by Bryan Hyland. Interestingy enough, this song was written by Paul Vance about his 8 year old daughter’s embarrassment over wearing the swimsuit (otherwise the YouTube video would seem kind of creepy!).

In 2016, Walt Disney World celebrated the first National Polka Dot Day with an event called Rock the Dots, which was an art and fashion show. On January 22, 2018, Minnie Mouse received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Today, the artist Yayoi Kusama frequently uses polka dots in her sculptures, paintings, and other designs.

Ideas for National Polka Dot Day

Other than channeling your inner Minnie Mouse and wearing polka dots, here are some ways you can celebrate this weird holiday.

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